Reliquary monument at Karcung Ramagang

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2001. (Print)

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Key Information


Hugh E. Richardson


Hugh Richardson

Date of Photo



Lhasa Area > Karcung >

Accession number


Image Dimensions

57.5 X 59.5 mm

One of the four reliquary monuments (mchod rten) at Karcung near Ramagang four miles from Lhasa. A dog is standing in front of it.

Further Information

Photographic Process

Print silver

Date Acquired

Donated August 2001

Donated by

The executors of the estate of Hugh E. Richardson


Hugh E. Richardson

Other Information

Notes on print - 'mChorten at Skarcung' is written on the reverse of print in pencil in Richardson's hand. [KC 21/3/2006]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Richardson's Hand List. 'Album no.2. Negatives i to 5 in damaged condition but worth rescuing if possible for archeological interest. [nos.] 1,3 Site of 9th century temple at Rama-sgang near Lhasa where there is the inscribed Skar cung edict. The four old stupas, one at each corner, are a feature of early temple sitses. e.g. Samye.'

Other Information - Hugh Richardson mentions this site in, High Peaks, Pure Earth, 1998, London: Serindia Publications, p. 313, 'Near Ra-ma-gang on the south side of the Skyid-chu, four miles from Lhasa, is a small nunnery in quite a large enclosure in front of which is an inscribed pillar of the ninth century; and at considerable distance at each corner is a large mchod-rten, one of which had remains of glazed tiles in the appropriate colour for its geographic position. These were the remans of Khri Lde-srong-brtsan's great temple of Skar-cung (1949).' [KC 21/9/2006]

Other Information - History: Hugh Richardson discusses the history and significance of the pillar at Karcung in
A Corpus of Early Tibetan Inscriptions , 1985, Royal Asiatic Society, James G. Forlong Series, No. xxxix, Royal Asiatic Society, pp. 72-81. "The pillar stands outside a small temple near the village of Ra-ma-sgang on the south bank of the Skyid-chu about two miles south-west of Lhasa. It records the renewal by Khri Lde-srong-brtsan of his father's vow to maintain the Buddhist faith ... The present-day temple is very small and neglected but it stands inside an extensive area bounded by four large ancient mchod-rten which show traces of having been covered by tiles of the colour appropriate to their position as are those at bSam-yas. A great accumulation of sand, which made it impossible to see whether there were the remains of other buildings, had covered the stone pillar ... I had enough of the sand cleared away to be able to copy the whole text; and some time later I was able also to clear the base on which the pillar stands and which was seen to be a massiver block of stone carved with a pattern of mountains in the Chinese style ... Inside the courtyard of the little temple were a stone capital, similar to that on the pillar, and the remains of what appeared to be the base of another pillar which may be buried in the sand. ... " (p. 72) [KC 21/9/2006]

Other Information - Location: Karcung Ramagang (skar cung) is sitated on south bank of the Kyichu opposite Lhasa. The old chorten in the picture was built in the 9th Century by King Senalek Jinyon (804-814). There are four similar chortens in each of the four directions. [TS 14/2/2005]

Other Information - Dates

Other Information - Dates: Hugh Richardson's interest in photographing inscription pillars and historical sites seems to have been particularly accute during the period 1948-50, although he states in A Corpus of Early Tibetan Inscriptions [Hertford: Stephen Austin and Sons, 1985, p.72] that he visited this site two miles out of Lhasa on many occasions [MS 16/12/2005]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Reliquary monument at Karcung Ramagang" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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