Larung Gar


Larung Gar Buddhist Academy

Houses for the estimated 20,000 to 40,000 (in 2017) monks and nuns sprawl all over the valley at the Larung Gar Buddhist Academy. Larung Gar is located in a remote area in the Larung Valley of Sertar County in Sichuan, China. The main floor of the valley has an elevation of around 3,900 meters. The thousands of small wooden houses perched on the hillsides makes up one of the largest and most influential centers for Buddhist studies in the world.

The Larung Gar Buddhist Academy was founded in 1980 by Kenpo Jigme Phuntsok (1933 - 2004). Jigme Phuntsok was an important lama of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. He envisioned Larung Gar as a university town where monks, nuns, and laypeople from all over Tibet could come and study. Students from other parts of China, Mongolia, and other Asian countries are also present.

The curriculum of Larung Gar Buddhist Academy includes among other subjects Buddhist philosophy, Tantras, Buddhist logic, Tibetan medicine, astronomy, Tibetan calligraphy, and rhetoric. English, Chinese, and Tibetan languages have also been taught. Most of the classes in Buddhist philosophy, history and discourse are taught in Tibetan. Some classes are also taught in Standard Chinese.

Parts of Larung Gar have been demolished several times by the authorities through the years. The images below show Larung Gar before the latest demolitions.

See also the image captions for some additional information.

Powered by SmugMug Owner Log In