Labrang, an 18th-century monastery regarded as a top Tibetan Buddhism educational institution in China, has asked for state funds for a major face-lift this year, local officials said Tuesday.
The monastery, located in a mountainous area in Xiahe County, northwest China's Gansu Province, has a number of precious Tibetan Buddhism relics and ancient architecture.
Nan Jie, head of the culture and sports bureau of Xiahe, told Xinhua that a proposal on the overhaul, involving the residence of the monastery's most revered living Buddha Jamyang and five other key halls, will be submitted to the State Administration of Cultural Heritage for approval.
Hopefully, the renovations will start within the year, he said, without disclosing the estimated cost of the project.
Labrang Monastery, built in 1709, is home to more than 1,000 lamas and is one of six prestigious monasteries of the Gelug Sect, also known as the Yellow Sect, of Tibetan Buddhism.
The monastery particularly serves as the religious center for more than 340,000 Tibetans in Gansu's Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Gannan, one of the country's ten Tibetan autonomous prefectures known for its sprawling pastureland and a rooted Tibetan culture.