About this object

A famous group portrait of the 13th Dalai Lama and the Tibetan delegation at Hastings House, Calcutta taken in 1910. Derge Se (seated, far left), Sidkyong Tulku (seated, second from left), Charles Bell (seated, third from left) and the 13th Dalai Lama (fourth from left) are present, seated to the right of the Dalai Lama are the Chief Ministers or Lonchens of the Tibetan government (Shatra, Shokang and Tekang). Standing in the back row, far left is Laden La, superintendent of Police for Darjeeling district and the man responsible for security during the Dalai Lama's exil., Behind the Dalai Lama's right shoulder is a very young Tsarong and behind Bell's right shoulder is Lame Kempo (Head of Tibetan monasteries and chief physician / astrologer) and describer of several objects in Bell's collection).

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
  • Artist/Maker
    Unknown or unrecorded
  • Place made
    Asia: Southern Asia: India: West Bengal: Kolkata
  • Date made
    16 March 1910
  • Materials
    Glass; Paper Plant; Wood
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    From the Collection of Sir Charles Bell
  • Collector
    Charles Alfred Bell
  • Place collected
    Asia: Southern Asia: India: West Bengal: Kolkata
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    350 mm x 495 mm; 13 3/4 in x 19 1/2 in
  • Note
    Curator's notes: Portrait taken by Johnston and Hoffman. Although the photograph seems to have been taken in daylight, British India records of the Dalai Lama's visit to Hasting House and specifically of this photograph, note that it was taken at 9.00pm, probably with the use of flashlights. It is also noted that the portrait of the Dalai Lama (1967.183.2) was taken at the same time.

    Written by Emma Martin
  • Related people
    13th Dalai Lama (sitter); Charles Alfred Bell (Collector, sitter); Derge Se (sitter); Paljor Dorje Shatra (sitter); Dasang Damdul Tsarong (sitter); Sidkyong Tulku (sitter)

Where is this object from?

Explore related


  • 13th Dalai Lama's exile in British India 1910-1912

    Start date: 1910
    End date: 1910
    Description: Following an increase in hostilities between China and Tibet and the arrival of two thousand Chinese troops into Lhasa, the 13th Dalai Lama and a small entourage fled Lhasa during the night of 12 February 1910. Having been cut off from travelling to Mongolia they decided to head for British India and Sikkim. They rode hard with Chinese troops following closely behind them. A young member of the entourage Chensal Namgang (who would later become Tsarong Shapé), along with a small party, held back the Chinese troops at Chaksam Ferry giving the Dalai Lama time to make it to Phari, where W P Rosemeyer, a British India telegraph engineer gave him protection at a dak bungalow. The following day the Dalai Lama rode on to Yatung, where he was again given protection by David Macdonald (British Trade Agent), he finally rode on to Gnatong and to British India protection on 21st February 1910. Charles Bell was the officer in charge of the Dalai Lama and his entourage, during his time in British India and the two men developed a strong friendship during this event. The Dalai Lama was to stay in British India for over 2 years, only returning to Lhasa once Chinese troops had been removed and the intense fighting in Lhasa had stopped. This event would trigger the Dalai Lama's proclamation of Tibetan Independence in February 1913 and a series of modernising reforms.

Object view = Humanities
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