Crowd in Barkhor Sungchora for Jampa Dendren festival

Crowd in Barkhor Sungchora for Jampa Dendren festival

2001. (Film negative)

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Key Information


Hugh E. Richardson


Hugh Richardson

Date of Photo

March 7th 1937


Lhasa > Barkhor > Sungchora

Accession number


Image Dimensions

54 X 43 mm

Crowds of monks and laypeople watching the proceedings of the Jampa Dendren (byams pa gdan ‘dren) festival on the 25th day of the 1st Tibetan month in the Sungchora part of the Barkhor. The building on the right is a corner of the Jokhang with balconies on the top floor from which officials watched. The building in the background is the Doring House. The photograph is taken from the Ngagkhang. Deep shadows suggest that it is early morning.

Further Information


Ritual Activity

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 negative album - '5' 'Yaso. Serpang. Byamspa gdan dren. Taarpa gling Oracle, lhosar [?] ceremonies. Jo mo lhari, Phari' is written on the negative album in white in Richardson's hand. [KC 31/7/2006]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Notes on negative index - Folio 21. 'do' [BYAMS PA DGAN 'DREN] [KC 31/7/2006]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Richardson's Handlist - 'Vol. 5' Nos. 16-33. 'The Byams-pa gdan-'dren, "The Invitation to Byams pa" (Maitreya) takes place early in the morning of the 25th of the 1st month, the day after the Smon-lam Gtor-rgyag (Album I). Before dawn an ancient silver image of Byams-pa is taken out of the Jokhang and a ceremony is held in the courtyard; then the image is placed on a sort of cart and drawn around the outside of the Jo-khang (the Bar-skor) by a band of monks in a procession headed by tall banners, monks blowing trumpets and beating drums, cymbals, etc. Images of a yak and an elephant are carried round; and the Dalai Lama's real elephant also takes part in the procession. I have no photographs of this part because there was no light. The procession halts at the south east side of the Jo-khang (nos 16-21) and after a time various exercises take place near the Dalai Lama’s open air preaching throne on the south face of the Jo-khang, soldiers of the Tibetan army, wrestle and carry a great stone on their backs round a marker pole. Before long participants in a foot race and in a race of riderless horses urged on by mounted grooms begin to come into the Bar-skor. They represent the various noble families who have to enter a number of men and horses. The Dalai Lama and Government offices are also represented and usually win. At the end, prizes are given (nos 32, 33).' [KC 9/8/2006]

Other Information - Background: See Hugh Richardson,
Ceremonies of the Lhasa Year , 1993, London: Serindia Publications, pp. 27-30 for a description of this event. "This ceremony, the Jampa Dendren, is a very different mood from those of the preceding days. The air having been cleared of evil influences by the Monlam Torgya, the time is propitious for an invitation to the Future Buddha, the kindly Jampa (Maitreya), to speed his coming. [KC 9/8/2006]

Other Information - Location: The location is Sungchora (gsung chos-ra) south side of Jokhang. Here, the Dalai Lama and other high lamas give public teachings. There is annual teaching by the Dalai Lama on 15th Day of 1st Tibetan month.[TS 27/6/2005]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Crowd in Barkhor Sungchora for Jampa Dendren festival" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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