Reting Monastery

Reting Monastery

1998.286.224.1 (Glass negative)

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Key Information


Sir Charles Bell or Rabden Lepcha?


Sir Charles Bell

Date of Photo

August 29th - September 3rd 1921


Rongchu Valley Region > Reting

Accession number


Image Dimensions

78 x 103 mm

The administrative portion, Labrang, of Reting Monastery, in its wood of juniper trees. Charles Bell's rooms were those on the top storey of the building on the extreme left.

Further Information

Photographic Process

Negative Quarter Plate

Date Acquired

Donated 1983

Donated by

St Antony's College, Oxford


Sir Charles Bell's Mission to Lhasa 1920-21

Previous Catologue Number


Previous Pitt Rivers Museum Number


Related Collections

British Library, Oriental and India Office Collections

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Bell's List of Illustrations entry: "[No. of chapter] XLIV. [Subject of Chapter] Reting [Subject of Illustration] Q211 (a) Re-ting Monastery. The administrative portion (Labrang), in its wood of juniper trees, 14,000 ft above sea level. Our rooms were those on the tops storey on the extreme left. In this part of the monastery are kept stores of food, clothing etc. for the monks, and here the officers who administer these supplies live, as well as the Head Lama (Hutuktu) and the Dalai Lama when he visits here. The main chapels, assembly halls etc. are in a separate building. The monks' dwellings are again separate between this latter building and the Labrang. On the left is a prayer pole (Tar-shing). The prayers, written on thin cloth obtained from India, are wrapped around the pole. In Sikkim they are attached like flags, but in Lhasa and the uplands of Central Tibet they are bound round the pole, otherwise the strong winds would quickly carry them away. [Where placed - book page] G.J. [Remarks] For this section see also Ch. XXV - Travelling. L.223."

Contemporary Publication -

Contemporary Publication - This image was published in 'A Year in Lhasa' in The Geographical Journal, February,1924, facing p.101:"The Labrang (Administrative Building) of Reting Monastery". This piece was derived from a lecture given to the Royal Geographical Society in London on 3rd December 1923 [MS 10/9/2004] [MS 6/9/2004]

Contemporary Publication -

Contemporary Publication - Published in 'The Religion of Tibet', Bell, C. A., Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1931, facing p.198:"Re-ting Monastery, general view."

Other Information - Description: Bell's Diary entry for 2nd September 1921:"We then see the private apartments of the D[alai] L[ama], who has stayed here twice. His private sitting room is a large one, more than twice as large as each of the Hutuktu's two rooms with the couch at one end under a yellow silk covering. Along one side are numerous images, bowls of holy water etc. etc. Windows run down the length of the room with yellow instead of the usual white cloth. Outside the narrow verandah are the usual yak hair curtains, which must always be two, an upper and a lower one, known respectively as the "Heaven Curtain" ( nam-yol ) and the "Earth Curtain" ( sa-yol ). // This private room is entered through the Hall of Audience with the D[alai] L[ama's] throne on a broad dais that runs thr length of the Hall. Here the D[alai] L[ama] gives audience to laymen who come to bow down before him." [Diary Vol. XII, p.58]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Reting Monastery" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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