Lhasa, Chagpori (Iron Mountain) from Northwest


This northwestern view of Ch'agpori, the “iron mountain” (also seen as Chagpori, Chiakpori, Chapori, Chakpori, Chaga, or Chag-pa hill in other sources), is from a collection of 50 photographs of central Tibet acquired in 1904 from the Imperial Russian Geographical Society in Saint Petersburg by the American Geographical Society. Houses are visible along the ridge. In his 1890 edition of Tibet, W.W. Rockhill writes: “Houses in Tibet are generally several-storied stone buildings, all the rooms of a storey being of equal size, the largest ones on the middle storey. The Tibetans carve the rafters and sculpture the columns of their halls, so that they produce altogether a very brilliant effect.” The photographs in this collection were taken by two Mongolian Buddhist lamas, G.Ts. Tsybikov and Ovshe (O.M.) Norzunov, who visited Tibet in 1900 and 1901. Accompanying the photos is a set of notes written in Russian for the Imperial Russian Geographical Society by Tsybikov, Norzunov, and other Mongolians familiar with central Tibet. Alexander Grigoriev, corresponding member of the American Geographical Society, translated the notes from Russian into English in April 1904.

Last updated: March 22, 2016