Crowd in Barkhor Sungchora for Jampa Dendren festival

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2001. (Print)

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Key Information


Hugh E. Richardson


Hugh Richardson

Date of Photo

March 7th 1937


Lhasa > Barkhor > Sungchora

Accession number


Image Dimensions

115 X 87 mm

Crowds surrounding the Kesang Darchen prayer flag pole at the Jampa Dendren (byams pa gdan ‘dren) festival on the 25th day of the 1st Tibetan month in the Sungchora part of the Barkhor. The building in the background is the Yabshi Sampho House. The photograph is taken from the Ngagkhang.

Further Information


Ritual Activity

Photographic Process

Print silver , Enlargement

Date Acquired

Donated August 2001

Donated by

The executors of the estate of Hugh E. Richardson


Hugh E. Richardson

Other Information

Notes on print - ''45-15' (in pencil) is written on the reverse of print. [KC 4/9/2006]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Notes on negative index - Folio 33. 'BYAMS PA DGAN 'DREN [KC 31/7/2006]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Richardson's Handlist - 'Vol. 5' Nos. 16-33. 'The Byams-pa gdan-'dren, "The Invitation to Byams pa" (Maitreya) takes place early in the morning of the 25th of the 1st month, the day after the Smon-lam Gtor-rgyag (Album I). Before dawn an ancient silver image of Byams-pa is taken out of the Jokhang and a ceremony is held in the courtyard; then the image is placed on a sort of cart and drawn around the outside of the Jo-khang (the Bar-skor) by a band of monks in a procession headed by tall banners, monks blowing trumpets and beating drums, cymbals, etc. Images of a yak and an elephant are carried round; and the Dalai Lama's real elephant also takes part in the procession. I have no photographs of this part because there was no light. The procession halts at the south east side of the Jo-khang (nos 16-21) and after a time various exercises take place near the Dalai Lama’s open air preaching throne on the south face of the Jo-khang, soldiers of the Tibetan army, wrestle and carry a great stone on their backs round a marker pole. Before long participants in a foot race and in a race of riderless horses urged on by mounted grooms begin to come into the Bar-skor. They represent the various noble families who have to enter a number of men and horses. The Dalai Lama and Government offices are also represented and usually win. At the end, prizes are given (nos 32, 33).' [KC 9/8/2006]

Other Information - Background: See Hugh Richardson,
Ceremonies of the Lhasa Yea r, 1993, London: Serindia Publications, pp. 27-30 for a description of this event. "This ceremony, the Jampa Dendren, is a very different mood from those of the preceding days. The air having been cleared of evil influences by the Monlam Torgya, the time is propitious for an invitation to the Future Buddha, the kindly Jampa (Maitreya), to speed his coming. [KC 9/8/2006]

Other Information - Location: The location is Sungchora (gsung chos-ra) south side of Jokhang. Here, the Dalai Lama and other high lamas give public teachings. There is annual teaching by the Dalai Lama on 15th Day of 1st Tibetan month.[TS 27/6/2005]

Other Information - Dates

Other Information - Dates: Two of the images in this batch of three that have related contact prints have date queries written upon them ('1939?' and '1937?'). However, the Yaso seated in the picture seem to have been those that in other images in Richardson's negative folder 5 can be dated to 1937 and similarly have a 510 batch reference number. As this role changed every year, 1937 seems the most probable date for these images, too. Also, Richardson seems to have stopped using 6x4.5 sized images by 1939, changing back to 6x9 images using his Zeiss Super Ikonta camera quite shortly after the Mission under sir Basil Gould left [MS 19/12/2005]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Crowd in Barkhor Sungchora for Jampa Dendren festival" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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