Lhasa, Marpori (Red Mountain) and Potala from the South-Southeast


This photograph shows Marpori (red mountain) and Potala, the palace of the Dalai Lama, in Lhasa, viewed from the south-southeast. It 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 the 1901 article “Lhasa,” T.H. Holdich writes: “Potala derives its chief interest from the fact that it is the residence of the head of all the great Buddhist hierarchy, the Dalai lama, who is represented in the flesh by a child of tender years.” 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