Tower building at Phabongka monastery

Tower building at Phabongka monastery

2001. (Film negative)

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Raw Image

Key Information


Hugh E. Richardson


Hugh Richardson

Date of Photo



Lhasa Area > Phabongka

Accession number


Image Dimensions

43 X 54 mm

Tower building on the left with reliquary monument behind some bushes on the right at Phabongka, a small monastery near Sera. Boulder and scrub vegetation in the foreground.

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 64. 'Karasapi (pha bong ka).

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Richardson Hand List. 'Album No. 2 [nos.] 44-45. Pha-bong kha. Small monastery near Sera, said to be a very old foundation.'

Other Information - Location: Richardson discusses this site in High Peaks, Pure Earth , London, Serindia Publications, 1998, "In the valley to the west of Sera, the temple and small monastery of Pha-bong-ka (1947, 1950) stands on top of a great boulder on the hillside. It was traditionally a meditation place of Srong-brtsan Sgam-po and later of the first monks at the time of the phyi-dar, the later diffusion of the faith. ..." p. 305. See also, Victor Chan, Tibet Handbook, 1994, California, Moon Publications, "[Pabonka is] built on the lower slopes of Dhok Ri ... [It] is dominated by a three-story, circular building, a truncated tower that sits on top of a 20-m-high granite rock. (p. 130) ... The principal tower building contains a sacred stone statue of Sakyamuni and next to this structure are 108 chortens , perhaps built in the 7th century ..." (p.129)

Other Information - Dates

Other Information - Dates: The contact print of this image was developed with a related batch of negatives identifiable by the batch number '609', of which there are twently nine similarly marked 6x4.5 contact prints in the Richardson Collection in the Pitt Rivers Museum. Some of these prints have been dated by Richardson to October 1950, and others relate to places that he visited only in 1948-9 and it seems likely, therefore, that this image was taken within this period [MS 17/12/2005]
See image 2001.59.2.66

Other Information - Dates

Other Information - Dates: The date is derived from Richardson’s negative album No.4, the cover of which is marked with ‘Lhobrag 1950’. There are 16 images which share the same batch development number and seem to relate to a trip that Richardson took in this year, although Richardson also went to Phabongka in 1947 [Check this in High Peaks Pure Earth]. However, his preference for using 6x4.5 images, the smallest exposure size possible using his Zeiss Super Ikonta camera, seems to have returned only towards the end of his time in Tibet, possibly to maximise the number of images that he could take on each roll of film (16 using a film plane mask of this size or 8 at 6x9 cm) [MS 17/12/2005]

Other Information - Related Image: 2001.

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Tower building at Phabongka monastery " 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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