Larung Gar Buddhist Academy – Ticket Price, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

larung gar buddhist academy

Larung Gar Buddhist Academy (色达喇荣五明佛学院), located in the remote Serthar County in Sichuan Province, China, is one of the largest Buddhist institutes in the world. Founded in 1980 by Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok, it has grown into a thriving center for Buddhist education and practice. Despite its remote location, Larung Gar has attracted thousands of students from all over the world, making it a truly international Buddhist community.

The academy is nestled amidst picturesque mountains and consists of thousands of small, colorful dwellings that house the resident monks and nuns. At its peak, Larung Gar accommodated around 40,000 monks and nuns, although the Chinese government has since imposed restrictions on its population size. Nevertheless, the academy remains a vital hub for Buddhist teachings.

Larung Gar offers a comprehensive curriculum that covers a wide range of Buddhist topics, including philosophy, meditation, scripture studies, and rituals. The academy provides a nurturing environment for spiritual growth, emphasizing the importance of compassion, wisdom, and mindfulness.

In addition to its educational programs, Larung Gar also hosts regular religious ceremonies and festivals, attracting pilgrims and visitors from far and wide. The community promotes interfaith dialogue and has become a symbol of religious harmony and cultural diversity.

Larung Gar Buddhist Academy’s unique combination of natural beauty, profound teachings, and vibrant community spirit has made it a significant destination for Buddhists and scholars seeking spiritual enlightenment and knowledge. Despite facing challenges from time to time, the academy continues to inspire countless individuals on their spiritual journeys and contributes to the preservation and dissemination of Buddhist wisdom.

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated Length of TourOver 3 hours
Ticket Price48 RMB
Opening Hours24 hours a day, 7 days a week throughout the year
Telephone Number0086-0836-8523811

Location and Transportation

Larung Gar Buddhist Academy is situated in the serene and remote region of Serthar County in Sichuan Province, China, near the Seda Sky Burial Platform. Nestled amidst the breathtaking landscapes of the eastern Tibetan plateau, this location adds to the academy’s allure and spiritual ambiance.

Serthar County is located approximately 600 kilometers (370 miles) southwest of the provincial capital, Chengdu. It is characterized by its rugged terrain, encompassing rolling hills, deep valleys, and snow-capped mountains. The area is renowned for its natural beauty and serves as a peaceful sanctuary for spiritual seekers.

Because of its remote location, there is no railway station or airport nearby. Although there are two shifts of coaches departing from the Chadianzi Bus Station (茶店子车站) at 6.40 am and 6.45 am every day, the journey takes more than 9 hours. As a result, the most convenient way to visit the academy is still to drive yourself.

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Highlights of the Academy

Cultural Experience

cultural experience of Larung Gar Buddhist Academy

In Larung Gar Buddhist Academy, visitors have the opportunity to witness and participate in traditional Buddhist rituals, observe chanting sessions, and engage with monks and nuns in their daily practices. The academy serves as a living testament to Tibetan Buddhist culture, offering a glimpse into the profound spiritual devotion and disciplined lifestyle of its residents. The colorful architecture, vibrant ceremonies, and cultural exchanges create an atmosphere of reverence and cultural enrichment, allowing visitors to deepen their understanding of Tibetan Buddhism and forge connections with the community of practitioners.

Architectural Beauty

architectural beauty of Larung Gar Buddhist Academy

The architecture of Larung Gar Buddhist Academy is visually captivating and showcases a unique blend of Tibetan and Chinese influences. The academy is characterized by rows upon rows of small dwellings, forming a sprawling settlement across the picturesque valley. The buildings are typically constructed with wood and feature vibrant colors, intricate traditional Tibetan decorations, and distinctive sloping roofs. The harmonious arrangement of the dwellings against the backdrop of the serene landscape creates a visually striking scene. This architectural style not only adds to the aesthetic charm of Larung Gar but also reflects the rich cultural heritage and spiritual significance of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

Scenic Beauty

scenic beauty of Larung Gar Buddhist Academy

The scenic beauty surrounding Larung Gar Buddhist Academy is nothing short of breathtaking. Nestled in the remote Serthar County, the academy is enveloped by stunning natural landscapes. Lush meadows carpet the valley, while towering mountains with snow-capped peaks frame the horizon. Crystal-clear streams meander through the picturesque scenery, adding to the serene ambiance. The ever-changing colors of the sky, the crisp mountain air, and the tranquil surroundings create a serene and idyllic setting. Whether it’s a peaceful walk amidst the vibrant wildflowers or gazing at the majestic mountains, the scenic beauty of Larung Gar captivates visitors.

Spiritual Retreat

spiritual retreat of larung gar buddhist academy

Larung Gar Buddhist Academy provides a sanctuary for those seeking a spiritual retreat. The tranquil environment, nestled amidst the remote mountains of Serthar County, creates an ideal setting for introspection and self-discovery. Visitors can immerse themselves in meditation practices, engage in mindfulness exercises, and attend teachings by experienced Buddhist masters. The academy’s serene ambiance, combined with the devotion and discipline of the resident monks and nuns, fosters an atmosphere of inner peace and spiritual growth. Whether it’s finding solace in quiet contemplation or participating in religious ceremonies, Larung Gar offers a transformative experience, allowing individuals to deepen their spiritual connection and embark on a personal journey of self-realization.

Off-the-Beaten-Path Adventure

off-the-beaten-parth adventure of larung gar buddhist academy

Embarking on a journey to Larung Gar Buddhist Academy is an off-the-beaten-path adventure that promises a unique and extraordinary experience. Located in the remote Serthar County, reaching the academy involves traversing winding mountain roads and exploring the rugged terrain of the eastern Tibetan plateau. The sense of exploration and the picturesque landscapes encountered along the way add an element of thrill and discovery. Venturing into this lesser-known region allows travelers to embrace the spirit of adventure, uncover hidden gems, and witness the captivating beauty of nature. Larung Gar’s remote location offers an opportunity to step off the tourist trail and immerse oneself in a truly authentic and extraordinary adventure.

Vlog about Larung Gar Buddhist Academy

Useful Tips from Genuine Reviews

Respectful Behavior: While touring, it’s mentioned that visitors cannot enter the Buddha halls or the living quarters of monks and nuns. Stick to the main roads, and be mindful of the restricted areas.

Recommended Places: The Larung Lianzhou Library is highly recommended. The first floor has a Western restaurant (11:00-19:00), the second floor sells cultural and creative items like fridge magnets, stationery, Buddha statues, and souvenir dolls. The third floor houses a coffee shop (10:00-19:00). There’s also a reading area in the library (12:00-15:00) where staff members are friendly. Visitors are required to wear slippers.

Sky Burial Information: Sky burials take place from 1:00 to 4:00 pm daily. If you wish to witness this, arrive at least an hour in advance. The route is described as being opposite the observation deck, climbing to the prayer flags, and then descending. Be aware of the green fence and follow the path to the left for a considerable distance.

Accommodation and Logistics: Suggests staying in Seda County, which is 20 km away from Larung Gar Buddhist Academy. Accommodation and facilities are more convenient there.

Weather Precautions: The region has a low temperature and is at an altitude of 4000+. Visitors are advised to bring warm clothing and consider carrying oxygen canisters, especially for those with poor health conditions.

Winter Accommodation Tips: If visiting in winter, choose accommodations with heating. Nights in Seda can be extremely cold, often below freezing.

Respect for Monastics: Show respect to monks and nuns by avoiding exposure of revealing clothing, refraining from loud noises that may disturb their study and life. Additionally, it suggests going to nearby Yaowangshan to feed marmots during free time, but caution is advised due to the risk of carrying diseases.

Booking Accommodation: If interested in staying within Larung Gar Buddhist Academy, the only option mentioned is the Larung Guesthouse. Booking is suggested to be done on-site, offering various room types including 6-person rooms, standard rooms, and suites. However, staying there may be challenging due to the high altitude.

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