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In the morning Lhasa’s only elephant, the survivor of a pair given by the king of Nepal, drank at the Dalai Lama’s personal spring.

Photographed by Henrich Harrer, Lost Lhasa.

In big ceremonies, the elephant was adorned with brocade and ornaments. Here elephant is adorned to represent the Precious Elephant, one of the ‘Seven Treasures of the Universal Buddhist Monarch’ (Gyal-se Na-dun). The Precious Elephant is considered as strong as a thousand elephants and helps in battle.

Photographed by Zonglie Chen, 1950s.

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