Image of Vairocana at Khoting temple

Image of Vairocana at Khoting temple

2001. (Film negative)

Image for comparison


Raw Image

Key Information


Hugh E. Richardson


Hugh Richardson

Date of Photo



Lhodrag Region > Lhakhang Dzong > Khoting

Accession number


Image Dimensions

54 X 43 mm

The image of Vairocana (rnam par snag mdzad) in Khoting temple at Lhakhang Dzong in the Lhodrag district near the border with Bhutan.

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 1950 Lhodrag tour

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Notes on negative album - '4 LHOBRAG 1950' 'Gongkar. Dzaring La. Lha khang Dzong. Sras. Pemaling Tso. Ku la kangri.' is written on the cover of the negative album in white in Richardson's hand. [KC 19/4/2006]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Notes on negative index '4' - Folio 36. '(La) Ram par snan mdzad'

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Richardson's Handlist: 'Album 4. Journey starting at Gong-dkar rdzong on Gtsang-po, 29.18 N. 90. 48 E.[no.] 36. Main image of Vairocana in Khom-mthing.'

Other information - Background: Lhakhang Dzong is situated on the confluence of the Kuru chu and Tamzhol rivers. The Dzong was an important trading post between Eastern Bhutan and Tsetang, in Central Tibet. In the middle of the settlement is the Khoting Lhakhang (mkho mthing lha khang) founded by Songtsen Gampo during the 7th century. [TS 6/6/2005] Richardson wrote of Khoting temple, "Here [at Lha-khang Dzong] is the ancient but little known temple of Mkho-thing (1950) founded by Srong-brtsan Sgam-po as one of his twelve (some say 108) temples to bind down the limbs of a female demon manacing his kingdom and to give spritual protection to his borders. Half hidden by a buckthorn hedge, it is a little, self-effacing, white-walled building with a roof of wooden shingles and a small, a flat, slate-covered rgya-phibs topped by an insignificant gilded finial." High Peaks, Pure Earth, 1998, London, Serindia Publications, p. 321. "In the centre of a dimly lit spacious hall is a huge fourfold Rnam-par snang-mdzad (Vairocana) on a high pedestal looking down impassively through half-hooded eyes, its hand in the gesture of fearlessness." ibid. p.322.

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’. These images seem mainly to have been developed as part of a batch arising from a trip to Mug, Lhobrag etc in 1950, as well as images taken on other trips during this year (eg: Talung/Reting). The batch development numbers 608-615 on the back of the contact prints run sequentially and the images seem all to have been developed at the same time, and must therefore have been taken in or around this date. In addition, 2001., one of this batch, has also been identified on the back as having been taken in 1950 [MS 22/12/2005]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Image of Vairocana at Khoting temple " 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

For more information about photographic usage or to order prints, please visit the The Pitt Rivers Museum.

© The Pitt Rivers Museum