Suitcase and World: Labrang Monastery. Part 2.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Labrang Monastery. Part 2.

After making the donations at the Assembly Hall, we headed back to the main courtyard, towards the entrance to the monastery complex.  More random photos along the way.

I had to take a photo of Eric and the gals standing in front of the monastery's most famous structure - the Grand Sutra Hall aka the main prayer hall. The Grand Sutra Hall can accommodate up to 4,000 monks.

It was then time for my photo op.  It's rare for me to be in front of the camera but for some reason, I really wanted a photo of me at Labrang Monastery and this was as nice a place as any to stand and pose for a shot.

Then it was Mal's turn.  She always asks that I take the photo *far, far away* but I decided if I only take her from waist up, she wouldn't object and she didn't.  I think she looks lovely in this photo.  We have more than warmed up to each other and I am so lucky to be sharing a room with her.  She is lovably flawed and she makes me laugh.

From the main courtyard, we made our way up towards the hills to walk another stretch of the longer (aka outer) kora that takes you around the perimeter of the monastery complex.  As you  might expect, we had views overlooking the complex and I took a lot of photos. :-)

From one vantage point, we had a view of the town itself.  You can see the tall, more modern looking Han Chinese buildings in the background and the more traditional, modest Tibetan structures in the foreground.

We also got a close look at the meditation huts.  I tried to see if I could spot a person inside any of them but no luck.

A good length of the kora path is lit by solar powered lights.  You have to appreciate the environmental friendliness of the place.

There were quite a few small Buddhist tablets embedded in walls and Buddhist inscriptions on rocks.

I spotted this lone monk standing on a roof top.  In front of him looked to be robe material and perhaps scrolls (??) that had been laid out to dry.

The kora runs near the base of the hills and basically follows their outline.

At the point we joined the kora, the path was slightly hilly and rocky.  As we neared the town, we hit the flat patch of path.  The scenery was not as nice but most certainly it was a more comfortable walk.  I am feeling lazy. :-)

I was surprised to see the patch of pretty flowers.  First flowers I've seen in Xiahe.

I stopped to take in a view of the rooftops of Labrang.  Here I could see the Grand Sutra Hall, the Assembly Hall, and Shou Xi Temple.  It's good to do the outer kora only after you've been to the monastery so you can better appreciate a view like this.

Our walk on the kora took us past a small cluster of pavilions, each shielding prayer wheels.

The outer kora met up with a smaller one.  Devotees were circumambulating around a stupa.

I think we then met up with the starting point for the world's longest corridor of prayer wheels.  If we follow the corridor, we would be back to the spot that we started our visit to Labrang at.

Om Mani Padme Hum.  You have to chant the Tibetan Buddhist mantra as you spin the wheels.

Like many a Buddhist monastery, Labrang has its large prayer wheel.  I've never known the significance, if there is any, of these wheels vs. the *regular* sized ones.

We had finally reached the end and it was our goodbye to Labrang Monastery.  It was off to find a place for a Tibetan lunch.  We started our restaurant search in the Tibetan part of town. All the places looked a bit rundown and the gals were not feeling it.  So, back to main street. 

I'm ready for some momos!