This amazing town is tucked away between the green hills of the Larung Gar Valley in China. Thousands of wooden huts belong mostly to monks and nuns and are built utterly close to each other just on the edge of the steep hillsides. In spite of such a remote location, the town is home to the Larung Gar Buddhist Academy, the world’s largest Buddhist settlement.
The city with almost 10, 000 people was captured on camear by photographer Sarawut Intarob.
The settlement sits on the height of 12, 500 ft and the religious devotees have to fight harsh climate conditions to study at the remote dwelling.
The houses of nuns and monks are built close to the colleges and are separated by age and sex. The segregation between male and female living areas is marked by a winding road, which runs though the dense mass of huts.
The living conditions are pretty basic, residents have to share communal toilets and every unheated hut ranges form one to three room in size.
As soon as the dusk comes down and the light pops out in the tiny huts, the settlement turns into giant Christmas tree.
This isolated town is located in 370 miles from Chengdu, and those willing to explore the city have to ride 20 hours by a coach.
You will not find TVs in this retreat, which allows monks and nuns flock to benefit from the studies and lectures.
The academy was originally established in 1980 in an uninhabited village by Jigme Phuntsok, a powerful lama of the Nyingma tradition. Nowadays it attracts students from all over the world: from ethnic Chinese students to pupils from Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Malaysia, who attend classes taught in Mandarin, while the bigger classes are taught in Tibetan.
In the beginning of 2016, London based campaign group “Free Tibet” claimed that local authorities had been ordered to cut the number of Larung Gar students by half, leaving 5000 only. And published later images revealed that a big amount of homes had been razed to the ground, therefore authorities ordered monks and nuns from Qinghai, Gansu and Yunnan to leave the Buddhist center immediately.