A Medieval Walled City
The living walled city of Nepal, Lho-Manthang is built in 1380 AD by the first king of Lho, Ame Pal which still we can observe as a testimony with its prosperity and rich cultural heritage. 2472 feet long and 26 feet high wall, has series of 14 towers which are 40 feet risen and the base of tower is 6 feet wide and 3 feet wide on top along its periphery. During the region of the Mustangi Kings, the towers were guarded by armed guards to defend the town from bandits and enemies.
The only entrance to the town is through a huge wooden gate located at the east of the township. In early days, this gate used to be closed before dusk and opened at dawn. Until recently, the town inhabitants followed this rule dutifully, but the rule is no more in practice. Nonetheless, as in the past, except for the Raja(king), Rani (queen) and the Khempo (chief priest) everyone dismount their horses while passing through the town gate. This custom is observed to pay respect to Avalokiteshwara (God of compassion), Mahne (prayer wheel) and Jhong Lha(Deity of the fort) that are located in front of and the Khempo considered as equals to the deities are not required to dismount their horses while entering the gate.
The city is divided into four traditional wards (Si-Shu) namely “Ghun-thang”, “Domaling”, “Potaling” and “Jhythang”. These names refer to as the shrines of deities from the respective wards. “Ghun-thang” is the shrine of “Mahakala or “Gompo”, “Domaling” the shrine of “Tara” or “Doma”, “Potaling” the shrine of “Dipangar Buddha” or “Hyepo Mahe” and “jhythang” the shrine of “Jhampa or Maitria”, the future Buddha. These wards take turn to perform various religious and social tasks of the town.