November 24, 2008

Repairing roof- Jokhang Monastery, Lhasa, Tibet

Location: Jokhang Monastery, Bakhor Square, Lhasa, Tibet, China (29°39′11″N,91°07'2" 35E)
17 April 2003; 3.30pm
Camera: Canon G1
Jokhang Monastery (
大昭寺or Dàzhāosì) built in the 7th century is one of the most sacred monasteries in Tibet. It is located in front of Bakhor Square in Lhasa. Every day, pilgrims from all over the Tibetan world come to prostrate and pray at the monastery. It is a four storey construction with mud and straw roof. The roof has to be reinforced and repaired often, especially now as there are more and more tourists visiting it.
Repairing and reinforcing the roof is still a community affair, undertaken by volunteers and pilgrims. This is often done in groups. The volunteers would stand in line with a leveler- a long holder with a flat concrete slab at the end- and pound the roof top in sync with songs, to level the roof. It is very fun to watch the process as is captured in this video clip in one of my visits

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