Lhasa Street during the Tsog Chod Festival


This photograph shows a view of a street in Lhasa during the Tsog Chod festival (also seen as Ts'og Ch'od in other sources and called Sung ch'o in Tibetan) celebrated on the 29th day of the second moon of the Tibetan year. 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. The strips flying in the wind in the upper left foreground are prayer flags, and crowds of people can be seen lining the street. In the 1903 article “New light on Lhasa, the forbidden city,” J. Deniker describes the city: “Lhasa is composed of a number of temples and convents, surrounded by gardens and joined together by streets filled with little shops and private dwellings. The town extends about two miles from west to east, and one mile from north to south.” 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