Monks blowing radung , Kundeling

Monks blowing radung, Kundeling

1998.157.27 (Transparency colour)

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Key Information


Frederick Spencer Chapman


Frederick Spencer Chapman

Date of Photo

February 14th 1937


Lhasa > Kundeling

Accession number


Image Dimensions

60 x 88

Four Gelugpa monks blowing ceremonial horns on the roof of Kundeling monastery. Two blow extendable trumpets, or radung, the ends of which are supported on ornate gilt trumpet stands decorated with eight auspicious Buddhist emblems and floral motifs. The monks wear yellow hats, maroon robes, brocade holy water bottles and felt and leather boots. Cylindrical Banners, which are auspicious emblems used as roof decoration, are decorated with pearls of wisdom and a trident on the top. The banner in the foreground is especially elaborate

Further Information


Ritual Activity

Photographic Process

Transparency Colour

Date Acquired

Donated 1994

Donated by

Faith Spencer Chapman


British Diplomatic Mission to Lhasa 1936-37

Photo also owned by

Frederick Spencer Chapman

Previous Pitt Rivers Museum Number


Other Information

In Negative - '2LSCT 66Y/24' has been written in pencil along the bottom edge of the transparency on the reverse side [MS 07/04/2006]

Other Information - Setting

Other Information - Setting: Gelukpa monks blowing ceremonial trumpets on the roof of Kundeling monastery. Founded in the seventeenth century, Kundeling was designated as one of the four royal monasteries of Lhasa by the fifth Dalai Lhama. The members of Gould's Diplomatic Mission were familiar with the place since they lived in a house owned by this monastery during their stay in Lhasa. [CH 2003]

Other Information - Background: Richardson mentions this site in High Peaks, Pure Earth , London, Serindia Publications, 1998, p. 303. "The monastery of Kun-bde-gling (1936-9, 1944, 1946-50) was built by the Chinese in 1794 for their protege,the Regent Rta-tshag Ye-shes mgon-po, in celebration of their victory over the Gurkhas. It was very generously endowed. A stone stele recording the foundation, inscribed in Tibetan and Chinese, stood at the entrance of the monastery. Further north on a rocky hillock known as Ba-ma-ri (or Ba-mo-ri) stood a little temple of the Chinese war god Kuanti, known to the Tibetans as Ge-sar. ... The Ge-sar Lha-khang was popular with Tibetan pilgrims for the reading of fortunes from bamboo slips chosen at random from a tall vase." [KC 13/10/2006]

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Monks blowing radung , Kundeling" 05 Dec. 2006. The Pitt Rivers Museum. <>.

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