Sekhar Gutog monastery in Lhodrag near Bhutan

Sekhar Gutog monastery in Lhodrag near Bhutan

2001. (Film negative)

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Key Information


Hugh E. Richardson


Hugh Richardson

Date of Photo



Lhodrag Region > Sekhar Gutog

Accession number


Image Dimensions

54 X 43 mm

Sekhar Gutog (sras mkhar dgu thog) monastery in Lhodrag near the Bhutan border founded by Milarepa in the 11th century. The famous nine-storeyed tower can clearly be seen on the left. Harvested crops may be seen in the field in the foreground.

Further Information

Photographic Process

Negative film nitrate

Date Acquired

Donated August 2001

Donated by

The executors of the estate of Hugh E. Richardson


Richardson's 1950 Lhodrag tour

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Notes on negative album - '4 LHOBRAG 1950' 'Gongkar. Dzaring La. Lha khang Dzong. Sras. Pemaling Tso. Ku la kangri.' written in white in Richardson's hand.

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Richardson's Handlist. 'Album 4. Journey starting at Gong-dkar rdzong on Gtsang-po, 29.18 N. 90. 48 E. [nos. 50-57] Sras-mkhar dgu thog monastery, attributed to 11th century, founded by Mi-la ras-pa, enlarged in 1539. 28.10.N. 90.47 E.'

Other Information - Background: Richardson describes the site in High Peaks, Pure Earth , London, Serindia Publications, 1998, pp. 322-3, "From Lha-khang Rdzong a path descends steeply to a bridge over the Lho-brag-chu, then climbs through the gorge to a precipitous path high above the river. It winds its way some twenty-five miles to Sras Dgu-thog (1950) in the northwest - a spectacular nine-storey white stone tower built by Mi-la-ras-pa for Mar-pa's son. It has a large gold rgya-phibs beneath which is a broad band of gilding decorated with seated Buddha figures. A chain around the top allows pilgrigms to clamber around it. There are embrasures in the tower, suggesting an original defensive purpose, but inside it is purely a place of religious pilgrimage. Each floor contains relics connected with Mar-pa, Mi-la-ras-pa and other lamas. ... At the foot of the tower is a large complex of temples and monastery buildings."

Other Information - Sekhar Gutog is one of the most revered religious sites for the Kagyu school of Tibetan buddhism. Sekhar Gutog (sras mkhar dgu thog) means 'nine-storeyed house of a son'. It is said that Milarepa built this nine-storyed tower as an ascetic penance. [TS 13/6/2005]

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’. In addition, 2001. has also been identified on the back as having been taken in 1950 [MS 22/12/2005]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Sekhar Gutog monastery in Lhodrag near Bhutan" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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