Gilded roofs of the Jokhang in Lhasa

Gilded roofs of the Jokhang in Lhasa

2001. (Film negative)

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Key Information


Hugh E. Richardson


Hugh Richardson

Date of Photo

June-July 1939


Lhasa > Jokhang

Accession number


Image Dimensions

55 X 57 mm

The gilded roofs of the Tsuklag khang (gtsug lag khang) or Jokhang as seen from the roof top of a house in the vicinity.

Further Information

Photographic Process

Negative film nitrate

Date Acquired

Donated August 2001

Donated by

The executors of the estate of Hugh E. Richardson


Hugh E. Richardson

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Notes on front of negative album in Richardson's hand in white: '2' 'Ramagang, 'Ushang, Tshurphu rgyal, Misc pillars'. On the reverse of negative album written in blue ink on white labels in Richardson's hand: 'Hu zhang, Pa blon chen, Pha bong ka, Nyenchen thang lho, Rva sgreng, Khro 'brug, etc. etc.' [KC 10/3/2006]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Notes on negative index - Folio 81/2. 'Tsuk Lak-khang [ gTsug lag khang] roof'.

Other Information - History: The Tsuklag khang is Tibet’s most sacred religious site. It is said that every Tibetan must visit the Tsuk Lag-khang once in their lifetime. The construction of the building began in 638 AD under the patronage of Queen Bhrikuti, the Nepalese wife of Tibetan emperor Srongtsan Gampo. Richardson wrote, "Unlike the Potala,which presents a spectacle of towering majesty, the Jo-khang is so closely surrounded by a seemingly random accretion of buildings that is impossible to get an overall idea of its outward appearance". Richardson wrote a detailed history and a description of the Jokhang with drawings of the floor plans in 'The Jo-khang "Cathedral" of Lhasa', High Peaks, Pure Earth, 1998 , London: Serindia Publications. pp: 237-260. A flat roof is the general architectural feature of ordinary Tibetan houses, while gilded and a sloping roof usually is reserved for a religious building. (TS)

Other Information - Dates

Other Information - Dates: This image may be related to another of the Jokhang roofs, of which there is a contact print [2001.]. That contact print is distinctively marked with the batch development number '516'. In the group of prints that are similarly marked there is one picture with Capt. A. H. O O’Malley who had taken up the post of Medical Officer in Gyantse in July 1938 [see Tibet and the British Raj, Alex McKay, Richmond: Curzon, 1997 p.236] and who visited Lhasa in early June 1939 [Hugh Richardson Archive, Bodleian Library, University of Oxford, MS Or Richardson 3 folio 168]. Also, some of the images are from the ceremony at Darpoling Monastery on the 15th Day of the 5th Month, which Richardson states he saw only once and which correlate with this date [MS 17/12/2005]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Gilded roofs of the Jokhang in Lhasa" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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