View of Town of Tsetan (Zetang)


This view of the town of Tsetan (also seen as Chetan, Chethang, Tse-tang, or Zetang in other sources), viewed here from the west, 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. In his 1904 article “Journey to Lhasa,” G.Ts. Tsybikov wrote: “The town of Tsetan stands 20 miles east of the [the Sam-ye monastery], on the right bank of the Brahmaputra, at its junction with the fertile valley of the Yan-lun, and is known for its cloth and the manufacture of the yellow lama caps. It carries on a lively trade, as it stands on the road from Bhutan to Lhasa.” The photographs in this collection were taken by two Mongolian Buddhist lamas, 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