The Kankani chörten of Nyoma: first phase of the restoration
14 July 2016 to 23 July 2016
Nyoma
Achi Association India

In 2015 the Achi team carried out the survey and condition assessment of this remarkable gateway chörten at Nyoma, in the area of Changthang.
Inside the chörten is a large cubic chamber (2,3 by 2,3 by 1,85m) that is topped by a wooden lantern ceiling of five levels, with painted wooden sculptures and in-relief gilding. All the sidewalls are entirely decorated with very exquisite wall paintings. A stylistic and iconographic analysis made by art historian Nils Martin links them to Lord Bhagdarskyab, ruler of Wanla around the turn of the 14th century.
Over the course of time, a deformation of the upper part of the chörten caused severe damages to the structure and the wall paintings. The collapsed vase and steps increased the weight on the wooden ceiling, resulting in big cracks and instability.
The measures taken in the summer campaign of 2016 prepared the building for the necessary conservation of the whole architectural structure.
The low stonewalls along the inner passageway were rebuilt as support for the scaffolding, which consists of a wooden platform accessible by a ladder.
The condition of the outside of the upper chörten had worsened over the year. Architect Hilde Vets and a local mason discovered quite some big cracks and holes around the vase and on the steps of the west façade. They were reinforced, filled with stones and covered with a coarse mud plaster.
Ven. Konchok Motup had the chörten whitewashed during the consecutive campaign of the wall painting restoration.

Participants: architect Hilde Vets, archaeologist Quentin Devers, intern Stanzin Nurboo, several masons and labours, Ven. Konchok Motup