Karmashar Lingka with the Oracle's tent in background

Karmashar Lingka with the Oracle's tent in background

1998.285.514 (Glass negative)

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Other Version of this Photo in Sir Charles Bell collection

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Key Information


Lt Col R. S. Kennedy?


Sir Charles Bell

Date of Photo

June 20th 1921

Named Person

Karmashar Oracle


Lhasa > Karmashar Lingka

Accession number


Image Dimensions

138 x 88 mm

Karmashar Lingka during the festival of 'The Incense of the Whole World'. Large plain with crowds of people and tents against a mountain background; many umbrellas seen in foreground. The tent of the Karmashar Oracle can be seen in the back left of the image, surrounded by a large crowd of people

Further Information

Photographic Process

Negative glass plate gelatin , Copy Negative

Date Acquired

Donated 1983

Donated by

St. Antony's College, Oxford

Copy difference

Copy Neg


Sir Charles Bell's Mission to Lhasa 1920-21

Photo also owned by

Sir Charles Bell; Royal Central Asiatic Society

Revised Photographer

Kennedy? Rosemeyer?

Previous Catologue Number


Previous Pitt Rivers Museum Number


Related Collections

British Library, Oriental and India Office Collections

This Image also appears in another collection



'The People of Tibet', Sir Charles Bell, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1928 [view list of illustrations]

Other Information - Related Images

Other Information - Related Images: In Bell's List of Illustrations entry this image is listed as: "[No. of chapter] XXVII. [Subject of Chapter] Amusements. [Subject of illustration] P.261 (gl) (ak) Tents and spectators at Lu-gu Gar-drik (Diary 1.3.1921)" However, this is probably an error. This image has been used to make a lantern slide [1998.285.647], for which the identification of 'Karmashar Lingka' during the festival of the 'Incense of the Whole World' has been given. This seems likely to be accurate as image 1998.286.190 is a close-up picture of the interior of this tent and it seems to have a strong resemblance to that which can be seen here. Bell does incorrectly identify images in his collection at times. However, these are usually the images that he has not taken himself [MS 25/02/2006]

Contemporary Publication -

Contemporary Publication - Published in 'The People of Tibet', Bell, C. A., Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1928, facing p.280:"Tents and spectators at 'The Gallop behind the Fort'. Cakes for sale under umbrellas in right and centre foreground." Note: the incorrect identification from Bell's handlist has been transferred to this publication [see notes on Related Images] [MS 25/02/2006]

Other Information - Photographer: Bell did not use P-sized or 'Postcard' sized negatives of the kind with which this image is made for his images of Lhasa in 1920-21. However, Lt Col Robert Kennedy, who was with Bell in 1920-21, did so, as did W. P. Rosemeyer, who visited Lhasa many times from 1922 onwards as a telegraph officer involved with establishing the telegraph line to Lhasa. This is a copy of a print, not an original image, and the print may well have been acquired by Bell from one of these sources [MS 25/02/2006]

Other Information - Setting

Other Information - Setting: Bell's Diary entry for 20th June 1921" "Today, being the 15th of the 5th tibetan month, is the festival of Dzam-ling Chi-sang, "The Incense of the Whole World." It is a day of festival for all the gods (lha), so the Tsendron tells me. The Tsendron, Palhese and I ride out in the forenoon to see it, going first to the lingka of the Karmashar Oracle. ... Everybody today should offer incense and may spend the rest of the day in the lingkas near the river, enjoying themselves in the picnics so dear to the heart of the people of Lhasa, whether Tibetans, Chinese or Muhammadens from Ladakh. More go to the lingkas today than on any other day in the year, and all are in their best clothes. We ride through three or four lingkas and I take some photos (3A). The private lingkas are much fuller than those belonging to Government, because in the latter fires are not allowed to be lighted on the ground, and this restriction is inconvenient when a party came out for the day. The tea then has to be kept warm by charcoal etc. burning in a brazier, on which the teapot is kept" [Diary XI. p.11]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Karmashar Lingka with the Oracle's tent in background " 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <http://tibet.prm.ox.ac.uk/photo_1998.285.514.html>.

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