Phabongka Monastery

No scan for this photo

2001. (Print black & white)

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Key Information


Hugh E. Richardson


Hugh Richardson

Date of Photo



Lhasa Area > Phabongka

Accession number


Image Dimensions

56 X 46 mm

Phabongka monastery near Sera nestling against a rocky mountain side. The tower building can be seen on the left.

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


‘High Peaks, Pure Earth’, Hugh Richardson, London, Serindia Publications, 1998 [view list of illustrations]

Other Information

Notes on print - 'Phapong kar' is written on the reverse of print in pencil in Richardson's hand and 'Velox' in an oval and '608' are stamped in black. [KC 29/3/2006]

Research publication - H. E. Richardson,
High Peaks, Pure Earth' , London, Serindia Publications, 1998, plate 36. "Pha-bong-kha." [KC 09/11/2006]

Other Information - Location: Richardson discusses this site in
High Peaks, Pure Earth , London, Serindia Publications, 1998, "In the valley to the west of Sera, the temple and small monastery of Pha-bong-ka (1947, 1950) stands on top of a great boulder on the hillside. It was traditionally a meditation place of Srong-brtsan Sgam-po and later of the first monks at the time of the phyi-dar, the later diffusion of the faith. ..." p. 305. See also, Victor Chan, Tibet Handbook, 1994, California, Moon Publications, "[Pabonka is] built on the lower slopes of Dhok Ri ... [It] is dominated by a three-story, circular building, a truncated tower that sits on top of a 20-m-high granite rock. (p. 130) ... The principal tower building contains a sacred stone statue of Sakyamuni and next to this structure are 108 chortens , perhaps built in the 7th century ..." (p.129)

Other Information - Dates

Other Information - Dates: The date is derived from Richardson’s negative album No.4, the cover of which is marked with ‘Lhobrag 1950’. There are 16 images which share the same batch development number and seem to relate to a trip that Richardson took in this year, although Richardson also went to Phabongka in 1947 [Check this in High Peaks Pure Earth]. However, his preference for using 6x4.5 images, the smallest exposure size possible using his Zeiss Super Ikonta camera, seems to have returned only towards the end of his time in Tibet, possibly to maximise the number of images that he could take on each roll of film (16 using a film plane mask of this size or 8 at 6x9 cm) [MS 17/12/2005]

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

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