The Sho pillar and Chakpori

The Sho pillar and Chakpori

2001. (Film negative)

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Raw Image

Key Information


Hugh E. Richardson


Hugh Richardson

Date of Photo



Lhasa > Sho

Accession number


Image Dimensions

55 X 57 mm

Sho inscription pillar in the centre. It was set up by a powerful minister to record his services to the king. It has a stone canopy topped by a carved finial representing the flaming wish-granting jewel. The Chakpori medicinal college is on top of the hill on the left and a small building with a sloping Chinese roof on the right. Further on the left, there are some tents and people are travelling on the well-marked road, some with pack animals.

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 75. 'do' [Zhol]

Other Information - Location and History; Richardson discusses this pillar and provides traslation of the inscriptions on it in A Corpus of Early Tibetan Inscriptions , Hertford: Royal Asiatic Society (James G. Forlong Series No. XXIX), 1985, pp. 1-25. "The three connected inscriptions on the east, south, and north faces of the tall and graceful stone pillar standing on the south side of the road that runs past the village of Zhol at the foot of the Potala are the earliest surviving from the time of the kings. pillar stands on the south side of the road that runs past the village of Zhol at the foot of the Potala in Lhasa." (p.1) The Zhol Pillar is thought to have been erected during the reign of Khri srong lde brtsan (755-c.794 A.D) to mark the appointment of relatively unknown person, Nganlam Tagdrag Lukhong (Ngan-Lam Stag sgra klu-khong), as a minister.

Hugh Richardson argues that the pillar was erected in 764 A.D or little later. The piller is inscribed on all four sides. For a full transcrition and translation, see: H. E. Ricardson, A Corpus of Early Tibetan Inscriptions" Hugh Richardson, A Corpus of Early Tibetan Inscriptions". Royal Asiatic Society, London. 1985. pp:1-25. [TS 4/4/2005]

Other Information - Dates

Other Information - Dates: The date range of 1946-50 has been given for this this image as other contact prints of the type made from this image are datable to this period. Furthermore, it was during this time that Richardson seems to have developed his interest in Tibetan inscriptions most fully and made conscious efforts to make a photographic record of the main inscriptions before his departure in 1950. [MS 17/12/2005

Other Information - Background: A view of Chagpori (lchags po ri) medical college founded by the Desi Sangye Gyatso in 1696. The college form a centre of training of
Amchi, (doctor) and the manufecture of Tibetan medicine. (TS)

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "The Sho pillar and Chakpori" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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