The main temple at Drigung thil monastery

The main temple at Drigung thil monastery

BMR.6.8.297 (Transparency colour)

Image for comparison

Key Information


Hugh E. Richardson


Hugh Richardson

Date of Photo



East Kyichu Valley Region > Shorongchu river > Drigung thil

Accession number


Image Dimensions

60 x 90 mm

The main temple at Drigung thil monastery perched on the side of a mountain.

Further Information

Photographic Process

Transparency Colour


Richardson's 1948 tour of the East Kyichu Valley

Other Information

Technical Information - The cameras used to take this collection of colour slides (Dufay colour) were a Zeiss Super Ikonta and a Reflex Korelle. [KC 09/10/2006]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Typewritten handlist entitled 'Hugh Richardson Collection, The British Museum. Photographs taken between 1936-50. Cameras: Zeiss Super Ikonta, Reflex Korelle. 300 colour slides (Dufay colour); copies made Jan. 1995.
[no.] 297. Drigung Monastery (damaged slide).' [KC 12/10/2006]

Other Information - Setting

Other Information - Setting: The monastery of Drigung thil is mentioned in Mkhen-brtse's Guide to the Holy places of Central Tibet , Serie Orinetale Roma XVI, Alfonsa Ferrari (Luciano Petech), Rome, Istituto Italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente, 1958, p.111. note 116. 'The monastery is situated about 100 miles north-east of Lhasa, on a ridge resembling a sheep's back ... in the upper part of the gZo valley ... . [T'il, the origianl 'Bri gun foundation, is spread over the side of a hill on the right sid e of the upper waters of the gZo ron c'u. The chapels and the colleges are at different levels, joined by steep stone steps and, in some cases, wooden ladders. The monastery is at an elevation of 13,000 feet or higher. There are no signs of cultivation further upstream. There is a ruined lha-khang at the foot of the hill said to have been destroyed by the Mongols (Sog po). ... About 300 ordinary monks and 60 mts'ams pa, who have a separate assembly hall and wear long hair and white shawls." [KC 15/5/2006]

Other Information - Background: Richardson describes the site in
High Peaks, Pure Earth , London, Serindia Publications, 1998, pp. 308-9, "Twelve miles further up the valley [from Yangri monastery] ... one comes to 'Bri-gung Mthil (1948), the mother monastery of the 'Bri-gung Bka'-brgyud-pa sect founded in 1179 by 'Bri-gung Chos-rje. It is a scatter of temples, chapels and monastic residences spread widely over a steep hillside overlooking a patch of cultivated ground by the Sho-rong-chu. The buildings are connected by walkways and ladders along the hill. The gtsug-lag-khang and assembly hall is built on a solid stone rampart about sixty feet high. ... The monastery was a rather bewildering collection of widely separated buildings; it was difficult to get a single view of it." [KC 15/5/2006]

Other Information - The monastery and the surrounding settlement was established in the 12th Century by Jikten Gonpo (1143-117). The area was said to be the location of a hermitage of Minyak Gomring, who was the chief dispile of Phakmodrupa Dorje Gyalpo, (1110-1170) the founder of Dri-khung Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism. Traditionally, the Tibetans say that wealth of Dri -Khung sect. The monastery was regarded as fabulously wealthy. Richardson visited the monastery in 1948.[TS 28/4/2005]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "The main temple at Drigung thil monastery" 05 Dec. 2006. The British Museum. <>.

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