A massive fire broke out at the Lithang Monastery located in the southwest of Garze Prefecture, Sichuan Province on Saturday, November 16, 2013. Sources have told VOA Tibetan that the cause of the fire has not been detected since the investigation is still at its early stage, although it is currently suspected to be caused by a short circuit.
No casualty has been reported from the fire, however, huge number of Buddhist artifacts including statues and scriptures of Buddhist sutras have been destroyed and lost in the fire .
Lithang Monastery was built by the third Dalai Lama of Tibet and was considered one of the largest monasteries in Kham, eastern region of Tibet.
VOA Tibetan is happy to share this photo essay which captures the rapid changes taking place in Lithang, a major center of Tibetan Buddhist culture for centuries and the birth place of the 7th and 10th Dalai Lamas. The 433 year old Lithang monastery, founded by the 3d Dalai Lama in 1580, was completely destroyed through bombardment by the Chinese army in 1956 and rebuilt in the 1980s by Tibetans. The Dukhang or main prayer hall of the monastery was tragically destroyed in a fire on Saturday, November 16, 2013