Monument near Gadan


This view of a monument near Gah-Idan (or Gadan) monastery 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, the monument was erected by the living (thirteenth) Dalai Lama on the spot where he is supposed to have dedicated some relics of the Tibetan religious philosopher and teacher of Buddhism, Tson-kha-pa (also seen as Tsongkhapa, Tson-k'apa, or Tsongk'apa in other sources). In The Land of Lamas (1891), W.W. Rockhill states: “Encouraged and protected by the King of Tibet, Tsongk'apa founded the Gelu denomination, and a few miles outside of Lh'asa he erected what is known as Gadan gomba, or the 'the happy lamasery'.” 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