Tibetan Sacred Space Research Guide: Pilgrimage and Guidebooks (gnas yig)


Titles marked with an asterisk (*) below include primary sources in English translation (or Chinese if noted.)

Huber, Toni. “Tibetan Pilgrimage: Concepts and Practice,” chap. 2 in The Cult of the Pure Crystal Mountain (New York and Oxford: Oxford UP, 1999), 10-20. 

Jamyang Khyentsé Wangpo (1820-1892)

* Jamyang Khyentsé Wangpo's Guide to central Tibet = Dbus gtsang gnas yig, trans. by Matthew Akester. Chicago: Serindia Publications, 2016.

Bla-ma btsan-po, (? - 1839)

The geography of Tibet according to the 'dZam-gling-rGyas-bShadRoma : Istituto italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente, 1962. In English.

Brag-dgon sprul-sku (1868-1941)

Account of a pilgrimage to central Tibet (dBus gtsang gi gnas bskor) by 'Jam-dbyangs-bstan-pa-rgya-mtsho : a neglected source for the historical and sacred geography of Tibet.  New Delhi : Library of Tibetan Works & Archives, 2008. In English and Tibetan.

Kaḥ-thog Si-tu Chos-kyi-rgya-mtsho (1880-1925)

An account of a pilgrimage to Central Tibet during the years 1918 to 1920 : being the text of Gangs ljongs dbus gtsang gnas bskor lam yig nor bu zla shel gyi se mo do. In Tibetan, preface in English.

Rgya-maʼi gnas yig = 松赞干布故居游 = The travelleis [sic] introduction of Gyama.  Describes pilgrimage sites in this valley, originally called Sgon brgya ma and attributed as the birthplace of Songtsen Gampo. This may be a modern guidebook. In Tibetan, English and Chinese (partly). 

SERIES: Bod-ljongs gnas mchog . This series contains at least 16 volumes, each covering a different pilgrimage site in the Tibet Autonomous Region. In Tibetan. 


Bu-ston Rin-chen-grub (1290-1364)The history of Buddhism in India and Tibet; trans by Obermiller. 1986 (2nd edition).  English translation originally published: Heidelberg, 1932. In English and Tibetan. This will have some references to sacred sites.

Gedun Chopel (1903-1951)The guide to India : a Tibetan account. Dharamsala: Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, 2000.


Calculs pour l'ouverture de la bouche de la terre: étude du temps, géomancie et art divinatoire au Ladakh, by Pascale Dollfus. In Modern Ladakh : Anthropological Perspectives on Continuity and Change, ed. by Martijn van Beek, Fernanda Pirie. pp 119-138; 20


* Kaḥ-thog Si-tu Chos-kyi-rgya-mtsho (1880-1925).  Bal yul mchod rten rnam gsum la ñams gsoʾi sri źu mdzad tshul : an account of Rtogs-ldan Śākya-śrī's restorations of the three great Buddhist stupas of the Kathmandu Valley Gangtok : Sherab Gyaltsen, 1983. 

*  Huber, Toni. "Guidebook to Lapchi." In Religions of Tibet, ed. by Donald S. Lopez, Jr. Princeton University Press, 1997, p. 120-134. Translation and introduction to text on "the snowy enclave of nomadic Lapchi" -- a mountainous alpine area in eastern Nepal on the Tibetan border. In English, translated from Tibetan, with introductions.

Kapstein, Matthew. "The Guide to the Crystal Peak." In Religions of Tibet, ed. by Donald S. Lopez, Jr. Princeton University Press, 1997, p. 103-119.Translation and introduction to text about a mountainous alpine area in western Nepal. In English, translated from Tibetan, with introductions.

Buffetrille, Katia. "Low tricks and high stakes surrounding a holy place in eastern Nepal: the Halesi-Māratika caves" .