Tibet has become a holy place for world monks. There also lived monks and immigrants who deepened the teachings of Buddhism. The name of this place is Larung Gar or also known as the Serthar Buddhist Institute.
Located in the Larung Valley, which is included in Garze Prefecture, China, this place is the largest campus of monks in the world. Larung Gar was founded in 1980 by a Pandita named Jigme Phuntsok. With Tibetan culture and traditions, the formerly small school flourished.
The choice of this valley as a place of religious study was originally to make the monks and nuns the focus. The Larung Valley was never touched by humans and had limited access. However, the increasing number of monks and nuns made Larung Gar a settlement. Monks, nuns and other students began to settle down and build their homes close to the campus.
At first, the settlements were only around the monastery area. Over time the valley started to solidify and expanded into mountainous regions. It is estimated that there are already more than 40 thousand people living there.
Uniquely, all houses are built in a traditional style. Everything is made of wood and painted red and has a space of only 2 meters. Each room contains only one folding bed, a small stove and a chimney. Heating room and toilet and rinse room are shared.
One house can be built in just 5-6 days. Monks, nuns and students must leave worldly luxuries and focus on deepening religion. The academy is open to anyone wishing to study Buddhism. Students are ranging from those aged 5-100 years.
Students will learn about culture, medicine, literature, astronomy and meditation for 3-4 hours a day. They claim to find peace with this routine.
As a village, Larung Gar is far from being conservative. There is already a restaurant for students and electric power. The academy was initially opened for tourism activities. But now there are no visitors so the monks can deepen their religion in peace.