Photo essays by our faculty and graduate students in Tibetan and Himalayan Studies



Ladakh’s Artificial Glaciers, Ice Stupas, and Other Attempts to Survive a Warming Planet

March 11, 2018

A photo essay by Sierra Gladfelter and Eben Yonnetti A land of glaciated peaks and windswept valleys situated in the Himalayas’ vast rain shadow, Ladakh has long been home to a hearty people who devised complex systems of irrigation and agriculture to survive and even thrive in this high-desert landscape...


Folk Songs in Nubri

Jan. 21, 2018

Photo essay by Mason Brown. Nubri is an ethnically Tibetan valley in Nepal’s Gorkha District. It runs parallel to the Tibetan border in the deep valley of the Budhi Gandhaki river between the Himalayan peaks of Manaslu and Serang Himal. Nubri’s four main and eight lesser villages vary in elevation...

Lurol Sadjyel Village

Lurol at Sadjyel Village 2010-2017

Dec. 2, 2017

ས་དཀྱིལ་ཀླུ་རོལ། ༢༠༡༠་ནས་༢༠༡༧བར་། 同仁县 四合吉村 六月会 2010-2017 Photo essay by Andrew Grant. During the sixth lunar month of the Tibetan calendar, usually the middle of July, villages around Tongren County Town (also known as Rebgong རེབ་ཀོང་། in Tibetan) in Qinghai Province/Amdo Tibet come alive with festivals that include feasting, dancing, and...

Mt. Kailash

Circumambulation of Mount Kailash

Jan. 6, 2017

Photo essay by Emily Yeh. Mount Kailash, or Gang Rinpoche (Gangs rin po che), is associated with Mt. Meru, the axis mundi or center of the world, and is thus considered one of the world’s most sacred mountains. Four major rivers – the Indus, Sutlej, Brahmaputra, and Karnali – originate...

between Halzi and Hilsa

Humla, Western Nepal

Oct. 16, 2016

Photo Essay by Emily Yeh. In July-August 2016, I was very fortunate to be able to join the Sacred Himalaya Initiative of the India-China Institute at The New School, in a trip through Humla to Mount Kailash. Led by Ashok Gurung, we were a crew of Americans, Nepalis, and Indians...

the Fourth Zhabdrung Thugtrul, Ngawang Jigme Norbu (1831-61)

Historical Artists of Bhutan

Feb. 21, 2016

Photo essay by Ariana Maki Traditional Bhutanese art—and the artists who created it—has remained markedly understudied in comparison to that of neighboring Tibet, Nepal, and India. To the field of Himalayan art history as a whole, Bhutanese art has often been treated as a comparatively static offshoot of Tibetan art...

Looking down from Dokela

Circumambulating Khawakarpo

Jan. 15, 2016

Photo Essay by Emily Yeh Khawa Karpo ( Kha ba dkar po ), in the southeastern corner of the Tibetan Plateau and spanning what is now the boundary of Yunnan province and the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR), is many things: one of the most sacred mountains of Tibetan Buddhism, a...

Chinese trucks laden with inexpensive exports reach the final pass before descending to the China-Nepal border at Zhangmu-Kodari

A Himalayan Border Trilogy: Trade and Infrastructure Development at the Nepal-China Borderlands

Sept. 7, 2015

Photo Essay by Galen Murton This photo essay illustrates and contrasts the infrastructure and operations of three international border posts between Nepal and China. Located at Kodari-Zhangmu, Rasuwaghadi-Kyirong, and Neychung-Likse, these borders represent the only motorable crossings between Nepal and China and comprise half of the six official, open borders...

Fishing the Karnali River

Living with Floods in Nepal’s Karnali River Basin

Sept. 7, 2015

Photo Essay by Sierra Gladfelter Climate change is expected to express itself in South Asia in numerous ways, including through an increasingly unpredictable and more intense monsoon. Already, floods triggered by relentless rainfall, associated landslides, and the failure of man-made dams, account for a greater proportion of deaths and damages...

New Jomo Lhakhang

Journey to Larung Buddhist Academy in Serta

Aug. 23, 2015

Photo Essay by Holly Gayley The largest Buddhist institution on the Tibetan plateau can be found in nomadic areas of northern Kham, tucked in a valley just off the main road. Larung Buddhist Academy is an ecumenical institute focused on a monastic curriculum of scholastic study and home to well...