Laboleng Temple in the south of Gansu Province is a mecca for Tibetan Buddhists, hosting many Buddhist activities each year. A renovation project, the largest in the temple's 300 year history, began last September. But it’s taking special care not to interfere with the Buddhist activities.
As a major destination for Tibetan Buddhists in western China, Laboleng Temple has 48 big halls and 18 houses for living Buddha. The architecture is mainly stone, wood, and clay, all of which are easily exposed to erosion. So an overall renovation is urgently needed.
The 305-million yuan facelift involves 12 of the halls and 5 houses of living Buddha. The renovation will begin with the smallest of the 12 halls. This is to gain experience for the renovation of bigger ones.
So Nanjia, deputy director of County Bureau of Culture, said, “The building behind me is the smallest of all the planned halls. Now in the winter, we are mainly doing preparation work. In addition, on days when an activity is being held inside like today, the work will not be done.”
The temple is home to 30-thousand Buddhist sculptures, tens of thousands of scripts, on top of loads of murals and embroidery. These are the key parts, but also the difficult parts of this renovation project.
So Nanjia said, “We must keep the original appearance of the relics. There’s a saying that goes "repair old to be old". So the difficulty exists in the technique, and the materials used.”
A parking lot outside the temple is being built. Once completed, no vehicles will be allowed to enter the temple grounds. Visitors must walk in or ride an eco-friendly electric car to tour the site. This will help to protect the temple and its relics, and to maintain order for all the activities held inside the temple.
A renovation project of Laboleng Temple temple began last September.