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Bridge over the Thimbhu Chhu at Tashi-chhu Jong [Thimphu, Bhutan]

Bridge over the Thimbhu Chhu at Tashi-chhu Jong [Thimphu, Bhutan]

Photographer: White, John Claude

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1905

Shelfmark: Photo 20/(39)

Item number: 39

Length: 18.1

Width: 31.1

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Photograph

Photograph taken at Thimphu in Bhutan by John Claude White in 1905, looking along the river Thimphu Chhu towards the bridge and the Trashi Choe Dzong (fortress) beyond. This photograph was also used in The National Geographic Magazine (Apr 1914, p.393), with the following caption: 'Another view of Tashi-Cho-Jong and bridge over the Thimbu Chu. The cracks in the blockhouse walls were caused by an earthquake'. This is one of a set of photographs documenting White's mission to Bhutan to present the order of Knight Commander of the Indian Empire to Ugyen Wangchuk, the Penlop (Governor) of Trongsa in Central Bhutan. The Penlop was being rewarded for his assistance to the British in their transactions with Tibet which resulted in an agreement favourable to the former. The fortress of Trashi Chhoe Dzong overlooking the Thimpu Chhu river is the summer residence of the Chief Abbot or Je Khenpo together with the central monk body of Bhutan. The Dzong was developed on the site of a much older monastery in the 17th century by the Shabdrung or powerful spiritual leader who unified Bhutan and helped define its identity. He devised a system whereby dzongs or fortified monasteries performed administrative as well religious functions.

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