Settlement of Chyongye

No scan for this photo

2001. (Print)

Image for comparison

Key Information


Hugh E. Richardson


Hugh Richardson

Date of Photo



Chyongye Valley Region > Chyongye

Accession number


Image Dimensions

60 x 60 mm

The settlement of Chyongye ('phyong rgyas) on a hillside overlooking the valley containing the burial mounds (bang so) of the Tibetan kings. The fort (rdzong) is to the right of the settlement on a small hillock with the and the monastery of Riwo dechen (ri bo bde chen) is in the centre. The ancient fortress of Chingbay taktse (phying ba'i stag rtse) is situated further up the hillock. In the foreground are cultivated fields.

Further Information

Photographic Process

Print silver

Date Acquired

Donated August 2001

Donated by

The executors of the estate of Hugh E. Richardson


Richardson's 1949 tour of the Yarlung and Chyongye valleys

Other Information

Notes on print - 'Chongye' (partially erased) and 'Phyong rgyas' (in pencil) is written on the reverse of print in Richardson's hand and 'Velox' in an oval is stamped in black. [KC 12/6/2006]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Notes in negative index - Folio 65. 'do' ['Phyong-rgyas from bang so] [KC 30/5/2006]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Richardson's Handlist, Negative book '9' 'Drikhung, Chongye etc.' [no] 60. ' Phyong-rgyas is in a valley south of the Brahmaputra at Rtse-thang, and west of the Yarlung valley. There is a dzong on the site of a palace of the early kings called 'Phying-ba stag-rtse; and also a monastery, Ri-bo-bde-chen, of the Dge-lugs-pa sect. East of the village in a small valley are the tombs of the kings of Tibet. See Mkhyen-brtse p.130 and G. Tucci. The Tombs of the Tibetan Kings. Rome 1950.' [KC 30/5/2006]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Richardson's Handlist, Negative book '9' 'Drikhung, Chongye etc.' [nos] 64-69 . (especially 67-9) Burial mounds of the kings etc. See Tucci. Tombs.' [KC 22/5/2006]

Research publication - High Peaks, Pure Earth , H. E. Richardson, London, Serindia Publications, 1998, plate 3. "From same point as Plate 2. The largest mound is attributed to Sad-na-legs. Smaller mounds are those of Mu-ne, Mu-rug and Ljang-tsha Lhas-bon. A pillar may be seen near the right side of the largest mound. 'Phyong-rgyas villae and Rdzong, site of Phying-ba Stag-rtse, and Ri-bo Bde-chen monastery in the distance."

Other Information - Location: Richardson wrote an article about the location and the historical significance of the early burial grounds in the Chyonggye valley near Yarlung in
Central asiatic Journal , 8,2 (1963), pp. 73-92 reproduced in High Peaks, Pure Earth , London, Serindia Publications, 1998, pp. 219-233. "'Phyong-rgyas is some sixty-five miles south-east of Lhasa, near the head of a tributary of the Yar-lung Chu which flows south into the Gtsang-po near Rtse-thang. There, in brooding and majestic solitude, rise the burial mounds of the kings ... . Not far away to the north, at the foot of the hills which enclose the valley, is the village of 'Phyong-rgyas dominated by its rdzong ; and on a sheltered hillside above the village there is the Dge-lugs-pa monastery of Ri-bo bde-chen. Higher up the steep ridge on which the rdzong stands are the ruins of what is traditionally identified with Phying-ba'i Stag-rtse, the ancient stronghold of the Tibetan kings." (219-220) Also, "About twelve miles up the ['Phyong-rgyas] valley and visible from a considerable distance are the brooding forms of the great burial tumuli ( bang-so ) (1949) of the Tibetan kings." (320) "The photographs show that some of the surviving mounds are larger than others. The smaller mounds are those attributed to Ljang-tsha Lhas-bon, Mu-rug and Mu-ne Btsan-po. Neither of the first two was enthroned as king ... [and the last] may not have been enthroned as king." (225)

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Settlement of Chyongye " 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

For more information about photographic usage or to order prints, please visit the The Pitt Rivers Museum.

© The Pitt Rivers Museum