Ding Ri

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Dingri (དིང་རི་)

by Ben Deitle

General information

NameDingri (དིང་རི་)
Transliteration formding ri
Source of informationGeorge Roerich, trans. The Blue Annals. Delhi: Motialal Banarsidass, 1976. THDL gazetteer.
Spatial LocationLatitude: 28.433°, Longitude: 86.882°
ProvinceTibet Autonomous Region
Prefecturegzhis ka rtse
Cultural locationsouth Tibet
Blue Annals References36, 73, 200, 222, 225, 294, 429, 435, 488, 518, 519, 528, 691,692, 726, 727, 733, 796, 816, 871, 879, 895, 902, 909, 912, 914, 917, 919, 920, 924, 927, 929, 953, 973, 974, 1026, 1053.


Dingri is located in the southwest of Tibet, near the border with Nepal and the region of Latö (la stod). Today it is a county level administrative unit within China. It is described as a plain with great views of the night stars, according to Dampa Sanggyé in the Blue Annals, “because the sky over Ding ri is wide and it is difficult to count the stars on it” (Roerich, 871). In the Blue Annals, Dingri is overwhelmingly mentioned in relation to its most famous inhabitant: the Indian siddha Dampa Sanggyé (11th-12th c.). Dampa resided at Dingri from 1097 to 1117 (Roerich, 914). During these years, he seems to have created quite a sensation, and within the Blue Annals we see a steady stream of people traveling to Dingri to become disciples of Dampa or sometimes to receive healings from him. Most of these episodes take place within the chapter on the Zhijé lineage, Zhijé being the main teaching of Dampa. There do occur references to Dampa’s work in Dingri in other chapters, usually in the context of his meetings with notable figures of other schools, such as his interaction with the Zhama (zha ma) siblings and healing of Machik Zhama (ma gcig zha ma) (Roerich, 222). Within the Kadampa lineage, Tsangpa Rinpoche (gtsang pa rin po che), abbot of Jayül (bya yul), met Dampa in Dingri on his way to India and received prophecies from him (Roerich, 294). There are also Kagyüpa associations with Dampa and Dingri, beginning with the meeting of Milarepa and Dampa in Dingri (Roerich, 435). The Third Karmapa, Rangjung Dorjé (rang byung rdo rje, 1284-1339), is said to have traveled to Dingri as a youth and received a vision of Dampa Sanggyé. He was then initiated into the lineage of Zhijé by his father (Roerich, 488). Trimkhang Lotsawa (khrims khang lo tsA ba, 1424-1482) is said to have seen visions before a white statue of Dampa in Dingri (Roerich, 816). This would indicate that Dampa and his lineage continued to be an influential presence in Dingri up through at least the 15th century. Outside the Zhijé lineage, the Kagyü schools have the most noticeable relationships with Dingri. Beginning with Milarepa being active in the area (Roerich, 429), Dingri was often frequented by other figures of various Kagyü lineages (Roerich, 518, 691, 692, 796).