Samye monastery

Samye monastery

BMR.6.8.66 (Transparency colour)

Image for comparison

Key Information


Hugh E. Richardson


Hugh Richardson

Date of Photo



Tsangpo Valley Region > Samye

Accession number


Image Dimensions

60 x 90 mm

The monastery of Samye (bsam yas) at the foot of mountains in the valley of the Tsangpo river. There are cultivated fields in the foreground.

Further Information

Photographic Process

Transparency Colour


Hugh E. Richardson

Other Information

Technical Information - The camera used to take this collection of colour slides (Dufay colour) were a Zeiss Super Ikonta and a Reflex Korelle. [KC 09/10/2006]

Manual Catalogues -

Manual Catalogues - Typewritten handlist entitled 'Hugh Richardson Collection, The British Museum. Photographs taken between 1936-50. Cameras: Zeiss Super Ikonta, Reflex Korelle. 300 colour slides (Dufay colour); copies made Jan. 1995.
[no.] 66. View of Samye Monastery. To the left, southwest of the main monastery, is one of the two Queen's temples.' [KC 10/10/2006][KC 10/10/2006]

Other Information - Background: Richardson visited Samye in 1949 and describes the site in High Peaks, Pure Earth , London, Serindia Publications, 1998, p. 315-6. "About twenty-six miles downstream [of Gong-dkar Rdzong] on the north bank [of the Tsangpo] is Bsam-yas (1949), "Beyond Imagining", the oldest, most famous, most beautiful and most numinous of Tibetan monasteries. Founded in 779 by Padmasambhava and the Indian pundit Santaraksita under the patronage of the King Khri Srong-lde-brtsan, it was conceived as the realization of an ideal universe in the form of a mandala. The spacious precinct is surrounded by a high wall representing the ocean, with a differently shaped temple at each of the cardinal points for continents and smaller island temples on either side. Some way inside the wall are four large mchod-rten , each in the colour appropriate to its geogaphical position - red at the south-west, black at the north-west, blue at the north-east, and white at the south-east. At the centre, enclosed in a high wall piercwed by doors on the east, south, north and west, stands, foursquare, the great dbu-rtse or gtsug-lag-khang , the symbol of Mount Me-ru, the centre of the universe. ..."

For Citation use:
The Tibet Album. "Samye monastery" 05 Dec. 2006. The British Museum. <>.

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