1998.286.225 (Glass negative)
Sir Charles Bell or Rabden Lepcha?
Sir Charles Bell
August 29th - September 3rd 1921
Rongchu Valley Region > Reting
78 x 103 mm
Negative Quarter Plate
St Antony's College, Oxford
Sir Charles Bell's Mission to Lhasa 1920-21
British Library, Oriental and India Office Collections
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: 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. <http://tibet.prm.ox.ac.uk/photo_1998.286.225.html>.
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