Bell's diary entries for April 1921

Friday 1st April 1921
Continues to describe conversations with Palhese and Neto Jongpen concerning recent dismissals etc. in the Tibetan government; discuss how Dalai Lama was hampered by the Chinese Amban in the exercise of his power, particularly in respect of the appointment of Ramba Shappe; also describes a small hermitage that he has heard about on the mountains to the east of Sera monastery [Diary Vol. IX, pp. 70-73]
[see photos taken]
Monday 4th April 1921
Palhese tells Bell about the custom of appointing a new Shappe; also describes a conversation with Palhese about Ragyapa, which he identifies as being appropriate for Book II, chapters 12 & 20 in his publication plans; refers again to discussion with Dalai Lama on Nepal-Tibet Treaty of 1856 - on this day the original of the treaty was brought to Bell to have a look at. Bell asked that they should be taken back to the Norbu Lingka where he would ask Tashi Babu and R. S. Norbhu to make copies of them on 05/04/1921, rather than leave them with him. Comments that Rabden has finally, and after much difficulty, managed to obtain some photographs of Golokpa people - cites Palhese’s description of the Golokpa stereotype [Diary Vol. IX, pp. 73-77]
[see photos taken]
Wednesday 6th April 1921
Discusses Tibetan funeral services with Neto Jongpen while out riding [Diary Vol. IX, p. 78-79; contd. pp. 97-98]
Thursday 7th April 1921
Sees Torgya ceremony at the Jokhang and ceremony of Lugong [Lukong] Gyalpo [Diary Vol. IX, pp. 79 - 85] - writes long description
[see photos taken]
Friday 8th April 1921
Leaves Dekyi Lingka at 7.30 am to see Sertreng festival; view it from the roof of a house in front of the Potala (not identified) [Diary Vol. IX, pp. 86 - 96]
[see photos taken]
Saturday 9th April 1921
Discusses copies of inscriptions on the Sho Doring given to him by the Council [Diary Vol. X, p. 1]
Sunday 10th April 1921
Visited the Jokhang with Tsendron and Palhese to look at the frescoes [Diary Vol. X, p. 2]
Tuesday 12th April 1921
Comments that Dalai Lama has been ill for some days so Bell could not give a letter from Lord Chelmsford, the Viceroy of India, to him. Dronyen Khenpo visited [Diary Vol. X, p. 3]
Wednesday 13th April 1921
Comments on health of the Dalai Lama and the appearance of catkins on weeping willows [Diary Vol. X, pp. 3-4]
Thursday 14th April 1921
Bell, Kennedy, Tsendron, Palhese visited the village of Shatra O just below Ganden. Went via Shangka ferry, saw Trayerpa [Tra-yer-pa] monastery. Mentions a photograph of overburdened donkey carrying brushwood. Went via Dechen - mentions Gokhak pass. Stop for the night in a house at the base of the hill on which Ganden is situated, which belongs to the Shatra estate. Mentions taking a photograph of decorated yaks ploughing the fields [Diary Vol. X, pp. 4 - 6]
[see photos taken]
Friday 15th April 1921
At Shatra O. Mentions snowfall at 4 am and the location formerly of a Bon temple, which tradition states was removed by Ganden and replaced by a large farm on the low spur. Discusses good condition of road to Ganden, built in 1919 for the Dalai Lama’s visit; travel partly along lingkhor of Ganden monastery ; see the Pemba Chu coming into the Kyi Chu in the valley below. Arrive at Ganden - comments that this is an auspicious day on which to visit being the 8th of the month, the other two being the 15th and last days. Visit house where Ti Rimpoche lives [mentions half plate photograph] and the tomb of Tsongkapa, which he describes in detail, as he does the rest of the monastery. Return to Shatra O. Comments on discussion with the Tsendron about the ku-dung of Tsongkapa at Nyethang [see Diary 17th November 1920] [Diary Vol. X, pp. 7 - 16]
[see photos taken]
Saturday 16th April 1921
At Shatra O. Returned to Dechen. Discusses Kesar with Tsendron. Also asks about and photographs the coloured flags, lungta, he sees on Tibetan house roofs. Also details more information obtained from the Tsendron concerning an image of Lokesvara he saw during a visit to the Potala on December 2nd 1920. Tsendron shows him en route the house where the Chinese wife of Songtsen Gampo stayed on her way to Lhasa. Photographs ruins of an old fort [half plate]. Stay at the home of a “well-to-do” peasant at Dechen [Diary Vol. X, pp. 17 - 21]
[see photos taken]
Sunday 17th April 1921
Travelled the 14 miles from Dechen to Lhasa after visiting Shatra O and Ganden on previous days. Met en route by a servant of Rakashar inviting them to ‘his’ [Rakashar’s] house and spent an hour talking to Rakashar. Had lunch in a lingka, close to the Gyu monastery of Lhasa and mentions the poplars. Caught in a violent dust storm on outskirts of Lhasa [Diary Vol. X, pp. 22-23]
[see photos taken]
Tuesday 19th April 1921
At Lhasa. Relates discussions with Neto Jongpen in his diary concerning agricultural production and Neto Jongpen’s house [Diary Vol. X, pp. 24 - 27]
Wednesday 20th April 1921
Lama Ugyen [U-gyen], the Ramtek Lama of Sikkim visited Bell - discuss religion and old forms of writing [Diary Vol. X, pp. 28 - 29
Friday 22nd April 1921
The Prime Minister, Lonchen Shokang, lunched with Bell - discuss the daily religious practices of the Dalai Lama, views of American and Europeans and world religions; mentions the Prime Minister has had a booklet written for Bell containing extracts from treatises on historical events and the setting up of inscription pillars and contemporary Tibet - China boundaries [Diary Vol. X, pp. 30 - 31]
Sunday 24th April 1921
Discusses weather conditions and continuing experience of frost and popular religious beliefs concerning hail storms etc (from conversation with Neto Jongpen). he and Neto Jongpen ride around the ‘Great Marsh’ [Diary Vol. X, pp. 32 - 34]
Monday 25th April 1921
Riding with Palhese - see Nepalese trader with donkeys loaded with rupees. Asks about robbery and crime. Discuss the recent breaking of Tsarong Shappe’s windows by monks and the theft yesterday [24/04/1921] of Tsarong’s wife’s jewellery, possibly through collusion of soldiers with some of Tsarong’s servants [Diary Vol. X, pp. 35 - 36]
Wednesday 27th April 1921
Discusses Laden La’s visit to Chikyak Khenpo concerning Dalai Lama’s recent illness and the fact that the Tibetan Government will be unwilling to let Bell leave as yet. Narrates a conversation with Palhese concerning the Dalai Lama’s regular daily activities when well. [Diary Vol. X, pp. 36 - 40]
Thursday 28th April 1921
Rides with Neto Jongpen. Discuss the Lugong ceremony and the social status of women in Tibet, the use of caoutchouc (gum resin) on their faces, role in trade and commerce, and custom of plaiting and washing their menfolk’s hair. Comments on prayers for rain [Diary Vol. X, pp. 41 - 43]
Saturday 30th April 1921
Comments that a few monks from Sera and Drepung have on three occasions this month [third Tibetan month] been guilty of drunkenness in the barkhor - from conversations with Neto Jongpen; also discuss the gender distribution of work on farms [Diary Vol. X, pp. 44 - 45]
Tuesday 5th April 1921
Tashi Babu and R. S. Norbhu take photographs of the Nepal-Tibet Treaty of 1856
[see photos taken]