Tashilhunpo Monastery

No scan for this photo

1998.285.388 (Glass negative)

Image for comparison

Key Information


Sir Charles Bell or his assistant Rabden


Sir Charles Bell

Date of Photo



Shigatse Region > Tashilhunpo

Accession number


Image Dimensions

120 x 163 mm

Tashilhunpo Monastery. Shigatse Dzong in right background

Further Information

Photographic Process

Negative glass plate gelatin , Negative Half Plate

Date Acquired

Donated 1983

Donated by

St Antony's College, Oxford.

Copy difference

Varnish Intensifier


Sir Charles Bell

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] LVII. [Subject of Chapter] Shigatse [Subject of Illustration] H.358 (d) Tashi-Lhunpo. Shigatse Dzong in right background. [Where placed - book page] I,85"

In Negative - A transparent glossy varnish or intensifying mask has been placed over the emulsion on the glass plate. The particular kind of varnish used seems to have been preferred by Bell during the earlier years of his official career in the region before c.1912. The earliest dateable example of this technique in Bell's collection at the PRM is 1903 (1998.285.270) and the latest is that of this image c.1912 (1998.285.25). [MS 21/6/2004]

Contemporary Publication -

Contemporary Publication - Published in 'Tibet Past & Present', Bell, C. A., Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1924, facing p.85:"The Tashi-lhunpo monastery. The fort at Shigatse (p.86) in the distance on the right"

Contemporary Publication -

Contemporary Publication - Published in 'The Religion of Tibet', Bell, C. A., Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1931, facing p.104:"The 'Mount of Blessing' (Ta-shi Lhun-po) Monastery. Shi-ga-tse fort on the extreme right."

Other Information - Description: "The monastery of Tashi-Lhunpo with its four thousand monks is a town in itself, surrounded by a wall. Built on the slope of a rocky spur, its tall houses rise one above another, facing south across the plain. Through them runs a line of five strong, impressive buildings, each like the other, and surmounted by gilded roofs of Chinese design, which dazzle your eyes in the morning sun. These are the mausolea of the five departed Tashi Lamas, the present Lama being the sixth. While the exteriors of these mausolea are dazzling, their interiors are also surprisingly beautiful, that of the first Lama being especially fine. Even after the lapse of so many years a vision still remains with me of altars, fully but tastefully equipped with cups of solid gold and silver, of corals, turquoises, and other precious stones, some of these even let into the floor, and behind the altar in each case a pyramid, some twenty-five feet high, adorned with gold, silver, and precious stones. On the top of the pyramid is an effigy of the deceased Lama. Vases of old porcelain and cloisonne complete the picture. No garishness is here, but a beautiful, harmonious design." Tibet Past & Present , Bell, C. A., Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1924, pp. 85-6

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Tashilhunpo Monastery" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <http://tibet.prm.ox.ac.uk/photo_1998.285.388.html>.

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