Lhasa from the North


This view of Lhasa from the north 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 large dark building behind a white one in the foreground is the Gah-ldan K'an-sar Palace (also seen as Gadan Kansar, Gadan-khangsar, Kaden Khansar, Kande Kansar, Kande Kanzer, and Kang-da Khangsar), which was the palace of the Tibetan kings up until 1751. Sarat Chandra Das writes in Journey to Lhasa and Central Tibet (1902): “In 1642 Kushi Khan conquered Tibet, and made over the sovereignty of the central portion of it to the fifth Dalai lama, Nagwang lozang-gyatso, and that of Tsang, or Ulterior Tibet, to the Grand Lama of Tashilhunpo, though he continued himself to be the de facto sovereign [. . .] The spiritual government remained, however, in the Dalai lama's hands and he conferred on Kushi Khan the title of Tandjin chos-gyri Gyalbo, 'the most Catholic king'. In 1645 the Dalai lama erected the palace of Potala, Kushi Kahn having his residence in the Gadan khangsar palace in Lhasa itself.” 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.

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Physical Description

1 photograph ; 5.5 x 8.5 inches


  1. Waddell's Plan of Lhasa (1904): http://collections.lib.uwm.edu/u?/tibet,110
  2. S.C. Das, Journey to Lhasa and Central Tibet (London: John Murray, 1902).
  3. Cassiano, da Macerata, “Giornale di Fra Cassiano,” edited by A. Magnaghi, in Rivista Geografica Italiana 8 & 9  (Firenze: La nuova Italia, 1901 & 1902).

Last updated: March 22, 2016