Settlement of Chyongye with burial mounds

Settlement of Chyongye with burial mounds

BMR.6.8.83 (Transparency colour)

Image for comparison

Key Information


Hugh E. Richardson


Hugh Richardson

Date of Photo



Chyongye Valley Region > Chyongye

Accession number


Image Dimensions

60 x 90 mm

The settlement of Chyongye ('phyong rgyas) on a hillside overlooking the valley containing the burial mounds (bang so) of the Tibetan kings. The fort (rdzong) is to the right of the settlement on a small hillock with the and the monastery of Riwo dechen (ri bo bde chen) is in the centre. The ancient fortress of Chingbay taktse (phying ba'i stag rtse) is situated further up the hillock. In the foreground among cultivated fields lie several burial mounds (bang so). The largest is attributed to Sanaleg (sad na legs) and the smaller ones are those of Mune (mu ne), Murug (mu rug) and Jangtsa lhaybon (ljang tsha lhas bon).

Further Information

Photographic Process

Transparency Colour


Richardson's 1949 tour of the Yarlung and Chyongye valleys

Other Information

Technical Information - The camera 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.] 83. Burial mound (bangso) of Tride Songtsen (Khri de Tsong tsen) at Chonggye. The town and monastery of Chonggye are in the background. Photo from Ralpachen's tomb.' [KC 10/10/2006]

Other Information - Location: Richardson wrote an article about the location and the historical significance of the early burial grounds in the Chyonggye valley near Yarlung in Central asiatic Journal , 8,2 (1963), pp. 73-92 reproduced in High Peaks, Pure Earth , London, Serindia Publications, 1998, pp. 219-233. "'Phyong-rgyas is some sixty-five miles south-east of Lhasa, near the head of a tributary of the Yar-lung Chu which flows south into the Gtsang-po near Rtse-thang. There, in brooding and majestic solitude, rise the burial mounds of the kings ... . Not far away to the north, at the foot of the hills which enclose the valley, is the village of 'Phyong-rgyas dominated by its rdzong ; and on a sheltered hillside above the village there is the Dge-lugs-pa monastery of Ri-bo bde-chen. Higher up the steep ridge on which the rdzong stands are the ruins of what is traditionally identified with Phying-ba'i Stag-rtse, the ancient stronghold of the Tibetan kings." (219-220) Also, "About twelve miles up the ['Phyong-rgyas] valley and visible from a considerable distance are the brooding forms of the great burial tumuli ( bang-so ) (1949) of the Tibetan kings." (320) "The photographs show that some of the surviving mounds are larger than others. The smaller mounds are those attributed to Ljang-tsha Lhas-bon, Mu-rug and Mu-ne Btsan-po. Neither of the first two was enthroned as king ... [and the last] may not have been enthroned as king." (225) [KC 17/10/2006]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Settlement of Chyongye with burial mounds " 05 Dec. 2006. The British Museum. <>.

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

© The British Museum