Lhasa, Chja shi tan, Fortified Chinese Camp


This view of Ch’ja shi tan, a fortified Chinese camp (also seen as Chja shi tan 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. According to the photographer’s note, Ch’ja shi tan was a fortified camp of the Chinese garrison of Lhasa in the vicinity of the town Dabchi on A-K's plan of Lhasa. (“A-K” refers to Pandit Kishen Singh, a legendary explorer of the Survey of India who in 1878-1882 traveled to Tibet and mapped the city of Lhasa.) The name means the valley where the enemy has been defeated. 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