The ruins, located on the small hill of Zhabyran on the southern bank of Xiangquanhe River in Zhada County, cover an area of 720,000 square meters.
The buildings follow the hill to its top in a rigid layout and an imposing manner. The castle is more than 300 meters high. It is home to houses, caves, pagodas, blockhouses, defense works and tunnels. The previously stylish caves are now seriously damaged. Few works of architecture remain intact. Although the Guge, through its hardship in history, has lost its prosperity and graceful manner, its appearance is still imposing. It leaves a valuable history and numerous legends.
There are a total of 1,416 surviving pieces of architecture, including 879 caves, 445 houses, 60 blockhouses, 28 pagodas, and four tunnels, which lead in all directions inside the architectural group. At the outer ring there are walls made of loess, which are decorated with many figures of Buddha, scriptures and incantations in Tibetan, and Sanskrit engraved on large cobbles. The houses within the ruins have wooden structures and level roofs. The larger works of architecture include the Red Temple, the White Temple, the king's palace and the meeting hall. The White Temple and the Red Temple are about the same size, covering about 300 square meters. Within the temple there are 36 square pillars. The pillars and the ceiling are covered with colored drawings of patterns and figures of Buddha, and all the walls are covered with frescoes of different subjects. The White Temple boasts a precious mural painting of successive kings of Tubo and the genealogy of the Guge king. The most attractive mural painting in the Red Temple depicts the King of Ngari Yeshe'o greeting Adisha, Buddhist master of ancient India. The painting also vividly portrays a group of girls dancing to the accompaniment of drums and horns. Even with the passing of several hundred years, these frescos remain bright and lustrous. Having been neglected for years, both the Red Temple and White Temple are dilapidated. In 1987, the commission in charge of cultural relics of the Tibet Autonomous Region organized a group of technicians to repair them.