Serpent Temple, Lukhang, in Norbu Lingka

Serpent Temple, Lukhang, in Norbu Lingka

1998.285.278.1 (Glass negative)

Image for comparison


Raw Image


(Lantern Slide)

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Key Information


Rabden Lepcha?


Sir Charles Bell

Date of Photo

May 18th 1921?


Lhasa > Norbu Lingka > Lukhang

Accession number


Image Dimensions

120 x 163 mm

The 'Serpent Temple' or Lukhang situated in the Norbu Lingka. On the right the pavilion in which the Dalai Lama often sat and worked. On the left the Serpent Temple

Further Information

Photographic Process

Negative glass plate gelatin , Negative Half Plate

Date Acquired

Donated 1983

Donated by

St Antony's College, Oxford.

Copy difference

Lantern Varnish Intensifier


Sir Charles Bell's Mission to Lhasa 1920-21

Photo also owned by

Royal Central Asiatic Society

Previous Catologue Number


Previous Pitt Rivers Museum Number



'Tibet Past & Present', Sir Charles Bell, Oxford: The Clarendon Press, 1924 [view list of illustrations]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Bell's List of Illustrations entry: "[No. of chapter] L. [Subject of Chapter] Lhasa [Subject of Illustration] H.254 (p) Artificial pond in Norbu-ling 'Serpent Temple' (Lukang) (left). [Where placed - book page] I,132. [Remarks] L.38"

In Negative - Possibly some use of a thin, glossy transparent film or mask on the negative glass plate over sections of the image, especially of the temple [MS 9/6/2004]

Contemporary Publication -

Contemporary Publication - Published in 'Tibet Past & Present', Bell, C. A., Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1924, facing p.132:"The Jewel Park. Lake in the inner enclosure. On the right the pavilion in which the Dalai Lama often sits and works. On the left the Serpent Temple". [MS 20/02/2006]

Other Information - Setting

Other Information - Setting: The temple in the Norbu Lingka is not the most famous Lukhang of Lhasa, which is situated in a park north of the Potala hill [MS 20/02/2006]

Other Information - Dates

Other Information - Dates: This photograph may have been taken on May 18th 1921, when Bell was given a special invitation by the Dalai Lama to enter the inner enclosure of the Norbu Lingka to see the gardens and the progress of the seedlings that he had brought as a present for the Dalai Lama from the Government of India [Bell's Diary Vol. X, pp. 59-60] [MS 20/02/2006]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Serpent Temple, Lukhang, in Norbu Lingka" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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