Buddha halls restored in major Tibetan Buddhist Monastery
Beijing : Seven Buddha halls have been restored in Labrang Monastery, a prominent 18th century Tibetan Buddhist monastery in northwestern China, famed as a prestigious centre of learning in Tibetology.
Founded in 1709 in the province of Gansu, the monastery was showing signs of age by 2012 when the restoration project began.
Its mud and wood structures were suffering from erosion, cracks, leaks and subsidence.
The central government has promised 305 million yuan (about USD 48 million) to support the extensive renovation project, with more than half of this amount channeled to heritage renovation work.
Labrang Monastery has six Buddhist schools, 48 Buddha halls and over 500 residences for lamas.
The renovation work focused on reinforcing structural elements, repairing paintings and frescos, as well as improving security and fire protection.
The work began with Shabten Lhakhang, Labrang, in 2012, explained Sonam Je, who is in charge of relic protection at the monastery.
As it is a small temple, the renovation work will serve as a great model for projects in similar circumstances, he said.
Since this is the first renovation of this scale, eight specialists were available to provide advice and guidance.
Labrang Monastery is one of six prestigious institutes of the Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism and is praised as a world leader in Tibetology.
Sprawling over an area of more than 800,000 square meters, Labrang Monastery is famed for its architecture and was listed as a national cultural relics protection site in 1982.