The largest Buddhist settlement in the world is in China
Friday 24 April 2015
Inside the village where 40,000 monks and nuns are segregated and televisions are banned... but iPhones are allowed
Larung Gar, China — Among the green rolling hills in the Larung Gar Valley in China, the last thing you would expect to see in the countryside are thousands of red wooden huts that have been built in a massive cluster.
- Larung Gar Buddhist Academy is home to 40,000 monks and nuns, who travel to the settlement of Sertar to study Tibetan Buddhism
Despite its secluded location it is home to the Larung Gar Buddhist Academy, the world’s largest Buddhist settlement.
A vibrant splash of red, this colourful settlement has sprung up in the 1980s and is now a haven for over 40,000 monks and nuns.
The sprawling settlement, Sertar, sits on elevations of 12,500ft, and the religious devotees battle harsh climates to study at the remote dwelling.
The wooden huts are built so closely together, they look like a red sea spreading up the hilly terrain.
Conditions are basic, with residents having to share communal toilets, and each unheated hut ranging from one to three rooms in size.
An isolated religious haven, Sertar is located around 370 miles from Chengdu, and those wishing to visit have to travel by coach for a gruelling 20 hours.
TVs are prohibited at the picturesque retreat, with monks and nuns flocking to benefit from the studies, prayers and lectures ran at the academy.
Photographer Wanson Luk journeyed to the secluded location from Chengdu on a 20-hour bumpy coach ride.
The 34-year-old Buddhist said the Larung Area has two small guest houses, but as these were occupied, he had to stay near the entrance.
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