View of Yerpa valley from one of the hermitages

View of Yerpa valley from one of the hermitages

2001. (Film negative)

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Raw Image

Key Information


Hugh E. Richardson


Hugh Richardson

Date of Photo

1937 or 1948 or 1950


Lhasa Area > Dra Yerpa

Accession number


Image Dimensions

55 X 57 mm

View looking down at the Yerpa valley from the roof of one of the hermitages at Dra Yerpa. There appear to be discarded pots and barrels in the corner of the roof on the left as well as a ritual roof decoration. A prayer flag is attached to the tree in the centre of the image and there is a reliquary monument down below on the left.

Further Information

Photographic Process

Negative film nitrate

Date Acquired

Donated August 2001

Donated by

The executors of the estate of Hugh E. Richardson


Hugh E. Richardson

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Notes on front of negative album in Richardson's hand in white: '2' 'Ramagang, 'Ushang, Tshurphu rgyal, Misc pillars'. On the reverse of negative album written in blue ink on white labels in Richardson's hand: 'Hu zhang, Pa blon chen, Pha bong ka, Nyenchen thang lho, Rva sgreng, Khro 'brug, etc. etc.' [KC 10/3/2006]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Notes on negative index - Folio. 46. 'do.' [Brag Yerpa].

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Richardson Hand List: Album no. 2, [no.] 28. 'Looking south down valley from Yer-pa'. [KC 22/3/2006]

Other Information - Location: Richardson describes the site in High Peaks, Pure Earth , London, Serindia Publications, 1998, "Four miles east of Lhasa itself stands the little monastery of Ri-skya , and beyond it the foundation of Brag Yer-pa (1937, 1948, 1950), lying at the head of a unexpectantly green an pleasant valley about twelve miles norht-east of Lhasa. The sheer cliff face is honeycombed with caves to which monks from the city came for meditation. It is a place of ancient sanctity and has been inhabited reputedly since the time of Srong-brtsan Sgam-po, whose cave with his image and those of his wives is high up on the cliff, reached only by a ladder. ... Near the foot of the hill in a small stone building was a large bronze bell in the T'ang style bearing in early north Indian characters the Buddhist formula ye dharma hetuprabhava etc and another sloka in Tibetan." (pp 305-6)

Other Information - Dates

Other Information - Dates: Hugh Richardson's interest in photographing inscription pillars and historical sites seems to have been particularly accute during the period 1948-50, although he states in A Corpus of Early Tibetan Inscriptions [Hertford: Stephen Austin and Sons, 1985, p.72] that he visited this site two miles out of Lhasa on many occasions [MS 16/12/2005]

Other Information - The site is originally said to be cave where the Tibetan Emperor Songtsen Gampo (srong brtsan sgam po) and his two queens mediated in the 7th Cenutry. Later the during the second phase of spread of Buddhism Drak Yerpa came to be associated closely with Atisha (982-1054 AD) and the development of Khadampa school of Tibetan Buddhism. [TS 15/3/2005]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "View of Yerpa valley from one of the hermitages" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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