Kharchu monastery in Lhobrag near Bhutan border

Kharchu monastery in Lhobrag near Bhutan border

2001. (Film negative)

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Raw Image

Key Information


Hugh E. Richardson


Hugh Richardson

Date of Photo



Lhodrag Region > Kharchu

Accession number


Image Dimensions

54 X 43 mm

Kharchu (mkhar chu) monastery on a hilltop in Lhobrag near the Bhutan border surrounded by the spurs of a mountain range. A track is clearly visible on the right-hand side. There is a light spot on the right hand side.

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


‘Mk’yen Brtse’s guide to the Holy Places of Central Tibet’, Alfonsa Ferrari, Rome: ISMEO, Serie Orinetale Roma XVI, 1958 [view list of illustrations]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Notes on negative album - '4 LHOBRAG 1950' 'Gongkar. Dzaring La. Lha khang Dzong. Sras. Pemaling Tso. Ku la kangri.' written in white in Richardson's hand.

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Notes on negative index '4' Folio 38. - 'MKHAR CHU'.

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. 38] Mkhar-chu lha khang, near Lha-Khang Rdzong.'

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - [Hugh Richardson in conversation with Paddy Booz; see PRM Related Documents File] 'No.17. Khachu, or mKhar Chu, a 12th c. Karmapa site near the Bhutan border'.

Research publication - High Peaks, Pure Earth , H. E. Richardson, London, Serindia Publications, 1998, plate 75. " Mkhar-chu." [KC 10/11/2006]

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]

Other Information - Location: Hugh Richardson mentions the site in High Peaks, Pure Earth , 1998, London: Serindia, p. 293, "On asmall hill nearby [to Mkho-mthing Lha-khang in Lho-brag on the border with Bhutan] is the temple of Mkhar-chu attributed to Padmasambhava." Also, he provides a brief description of it, "... Mkhar-chu (1950) monastery, ... , prominent on a hillside overlooking the gorge of the Lho-brag river, was a favourite place of pilgrimage. It was built by Padmasambhava and contained a large image of him ..." ( ibid. p.322)

Other Information - Background: Kharchu (mkhar chu) monastery is situated on a hilltop overlooking the gorge of the Lhodrak (Lho-brag) river. It is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for the Nyingma and Kagyu schools of Tibetan Buddhism. Near the monastery is Chakpurchen cave, Padmasambhava's mediatation cave, which is regarded as one of the most important scared sites associated with Padmasambhava. [TS 9/6/2005]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Kharchu monastery in Lhobrag near Bhutan border" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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