Buddha halls restored in China's major Tibetan Buddhist Monastery

Buddha halls restored in China's major Tibetan Buddhist Monastery
Tourists visit the Labrang Monastery in Gansu province, Sept 15, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]

Seven Buddha halls have been restored in Labrang Monastery, a prominent Tibetan Buddhist monastery in the northwestern province of Gansu.

Founded in 1709, by 2012, when the restoration project began, the monastery was showing the signs of age, with the mud and wood structure suffering from erosion, cracks, leaks and subsidence.

The central government promised 305 million yuan (about $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 on hand to provide advice and guidance.

Labrang Monastery is one of six prestigious institutes of the Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, it is praised as a world leader in Tibetology.

Sprawling over an area of more 800,000 square meters, Labrang Monastery is famed for its architecture, it was listed as a national cultural relics protection site in 1982.