Tride Srongtsen's inscription pillar in the Chyongye valley

Tride Srongtsen's inscription pillar in the Chyongye valley

2001. (Film negative)

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Raw Image

Key Information


Hugh E. Richardson


Hugh Richardson

Date of Photo



Chyongye Valley Region > Chyongye

Accession number


Image Dimensions

55 x 55 mm

The ninth century pillar near the burial mound of Tride Srongtsen (khri lde srong brtsan) in the Chyongye ('phyong rgyas) valley west of the Yarlung valley. At the centre right of the image there is a swastika symbol has been carved over the inscription on the rock.

Further Information

Photographic Process

Negative film nitrate

Date Acquired

Donated August 2001

Donated by

The executors of the estate of Hugh E. Richardson


Richardson's 1949 tour of the Yarlung and Chyongye valleys

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Notes on negative album (outer case) - 'INSCRIPTIONS ON RDO RINGS' (in black ink on white label) and 'Inscriptions & misc.' (in black ink on yellow label) is written in Richardson's hand on the cover of the negative album. [KC 21/9/2006]

Notes on negative index - '[illegible]'

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Richardson's Handlist, Negative book '9' 'Drikhung, Chongye etc.' [no] 60. ' Phyong-rgyas is in a valley south of the Brahmaputra at Rtse-thang, and west of the Yarlung valley. There is a dzong on the site of a palace of the early kings called 'Phying-ba stag-rtse; and also a monastery, Ri-bo-bde-chen, of the Dge-lugs-pa sect. East of the village in a small valley are the tombs of the kings of Tibet. See Mkhyen-brtse p.130 and G. Tucci. The Tombs of the Tibetan Kings. Rome 1950.' [KC 30/5/2006]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Richardson's Handlist, Negative book '9' 'Drikhung, Chongye etc.' [no] 63 . Inscribed pillar near 'Phyong-rgyas rdzong. Inscription now almost effaced; low relief carving of lion and dragon.' [KC 22/5/2006]

Other Information - History: Richardson discusses this pillar in A Corpus of Early Tibetan Inscriptions, H.E. Richardson, James G. Forlong Series, no. xxix, London Royal Asiatic Society, 1985, pp. 36-41 'The rdo-rings near the bridge-head at 'Phyong-rgyas". "This pillar stands in an exposed position to the south of a small bridge over the stream below the rdzong at 'Phyong-rgyas beside the track leading to the tombs of the kings ( bang-so ) about half a mile distant. The north face once bore an inscription; on the southface are carved the figures of a lion and a dragon now rather indistinct. When I visited the place in 1949 the north face ahd been so severely eroded by wind and sand that only a few letters could be read. ... The inscription probably falls within the five years between 795 and 800." (p.36) [KC 27/9/2006]

Other Information - Location: Richardson wrote an article about the location and the historical significance of the early burial grounds in the Chyonggye valley near Yarlung in
Central asiatic Journal , 8,2 (1963), pp. 73-92 reproduced in High Peaks, Pure Earth , London, Serindia Publications, 1998, pp. 219-233. "'Phyong-rgyas is some sixty-five miles south-east of Lhasa, near the head of a tributary of the Yar-lung Chu which flows south into the Gtsang-po near Rtse-thang. There, in brooding and majestic solitude, rise the burial mounds of the kings ... . Not far away to the north, at the foot of the hills which enclose the valley, is the village of 'Phyong-rgyas dominated by its rdzong ; and on a sheltered hillside above the village there is the Dge-lugs-pa monastery of Ri-bo bde-chen. Higher up the steep ridge on which the rdzong stands are the ruins of what is traditionally identified with PHying-ba'i Stag-rtse, the ancient stronghold of the Tibetan kings." (219-220) "There is ... near the village of 'Phyong-rgyas, and at some distance from the tombs, a fine stone pillar bearing faint traces of lettering of which the only legible part - when I saw it - was the name Khri Srong-lde-brtsan. ... What the pillar is doing in its present position is not clear. The place where it stands is level ground with no suggestion that there was ever a mound anywhere near it nor does it appear probable that an important tomb would be built at such a distance from the main burial ground. ... The inscription ... is a brief eulogy of the king in general terms. ... " (225) "The pillar ... bears on its south face the outline of a lion, incised in low relief. The carving is so faint it cannot be detected in the photograph. Its head is towards the left hand corner of the pillar and its two forefeet can be seen a little lower down. Below it are traces of a dragon in the Chinese manner. The free drawing of the lion and the stylized representation of the dragon are an interesting contrast." (229) [KC 30/5/2006]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Tride Srongtsen's inscription pillar in the Chyongye valley " 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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