Inauguration for the reparation of the
Shalu Monastery in Xigaze, southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region, is
held May 13, 2009. More than 16 million RMB yuan will be put on the
reparation of the old monastery, which was built in 1027.
XIGAZE, May 13 (Xinhua) -- Work started Wednesday at
a thousand-year-old monastery in Tibet's Xigaze Prefecture to renovate the
structure that is a rare blend of Tibetan and Chinese architectural styles.
Renovation of the Shalu Monastery, about 20 km from
Xigaze City, would cost 16 million yuan (2.3 million U.S. dollars) and take
about two years, said Soinam Norbu, an official with the prefectural government.
The project, one of Tibet's biggest heritage
renovation projects under the 11th Five Year Plan (2006-2010), involves
reinforcement of its buildings, maintenance of sewage treatment facilities and
improvement of fire and flood control systems, he said.
"Pilgrims and tourists will not be banned during the
renovation," he said.
Shalu Monastery made about 700,000 yuan a year,
mostly from ticket revenues and alms offered by pilgrims, said Losel Gyatso, an
official in charge of religious affairs.
The monastery was first built in 1027, but was
destroyed in an earthquake. The existing structure was rebuilt in 1333 with
money and building materials provided by the imperial court. Its abbot, Buton,
also invited craftsmen from other Chinese areas to help rebuild the monastery.
"The structure therefore combines traditional Chinese
and Tibetan styles," said Minyak Chokyi Gyaltsen, a renowned Tibetan architect.
The first floor of its main hall Shalu Lakhang
followed Tibetan styles, but its second floor was built into a traditional
Chinese quadrangle with houses on four sides. Glazed tiles, rarely seen in
Tibetan buildings, were used on its roof, he said.
Last year, the central government launched a
570-million-yuan (81.43 million U.S. dollars) project to preserve 22 historical
and cultural heritage sites in Tibet, including the Zhaxi Lhunbo Lamasery, the
Jokhang, Ramogia, Sanyai and Samgya-Goutog monasteries.
The move came after a 330-million-yuan preservation project on the Potala Palace, Sagya Monastery and Norbu Lingka Palace.