Reting Monastery

Reting Monastery

1998.286.225 (Glass negative)

Image for comparison


Raw Image

Key Information


Sir Charles Bell or Rabden Lepcha?


Sir Charles Bell

Date of Photo

August 29th - September 3rd 1921


Rongchu Valley Region > Reting

Accession number


Image Dimensions

78 x 103 mm

Reting Monastery. The monastery building itself rather than the Labrang or administrative building.

Further Information

Photographic Process

Negative Quarter Plate

Date Acquired

Donated 1983

Donated by

St Antony's College, Oxford


Sir Charles Bell's Mission to Lhasa 1920-21

Previous Catologue Number


Previous Pitt Rivers Museum Number


Related Collections

British Library, Oriental and India Office Collections

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Bell's List of Illustrations entry: "[No. of chapter] XLIV. [Subject of Chapter] Reting [Subject of Illustration] 212 (b) Re-ting Monastery. The monastery building itself as opposed to the Labrang. This photo includes practically the whole of the building. Only a very little to the left is out of the picture. Poplar tree in foreground. Juniper trees, on mountain behind."

Other Information - Setting

Other Information - Setting: Bell's Diary for 29th August 1921:"Ra-dreng [ Tibetan script ] is 13 miles from Phon-do, and lies at an elevation of 14,000 ft in a wood of juniper trees, which grow to a height of 50 or 60 ft. Their height and and thickness and the large number of them excite wonder and admiration among the Tibetans who come here, and I myself have never seen juniper trees of such size growing at so high an elevation. The monastery and wood face south and the climate is surprisingly warm, when the altitude above sea-level is considered. // Two of the priests in charge of the monastery, who look after us, tell me that King Song-tsen Gampo visited this place. Cutting off his hair, he strewed it on the ground and prayed that timber might be provided for him to build a temple ( tsuk-la-kang ) here. In answer to this prayer these trees sprouted from his hair. Some three hundred years later Atisha's disciple. Drom-tom-ba (spelling?) built the temple and monastery. // The priests say that the trees have never been cut since Songtsen Gampo time, and are consequently 1200 years old. they certainly appear to be of great age. Many are withered at the tops, while others are quite healthy. It is not allowed to cut or lop them, but when pieces are broken off by snow, wind etc., these can be utilised." [Diary Vol. XII, pp. 48-9

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Reting Monastery" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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