Maps by Valentina Strokopytova
These maps visually represent the number of monks, monks quarters, and other rooms/spaces in the monasteries (the key to the map can be accessed by clicking on the double arrow in the top left corner). While some Tibetan Buddhist monasteries have been studied for their artistic, historical, or cultural significance, these maps start to allow us to see visually just how many massive Buddhist institutions there were on the Tibetan plateau. The coverage here is limited to Amdo, in the northeast of the Tibetan plateau. The data is drawn from a number of books published in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but based on the numbers of monks and rooms in these monasteries in the 1950s. Detailed information about each site can be accessed by clicking on a point and scrolling down through the data. While the data is not always readily understandable (e.g. why did Rongbo Monastery have 6,935 monks quarters but only 1,712 monks?) the ability to investigate this data may lead to new findings. In any case, seeing the relative size and distribution of these monasteries is quite impressive in its own right.