Larung Gar: the massive Buddhist monastery that few know about

Larung Gar in Serthar, northern Tibet. Photo by Shinya Itahana via

Now online: Britain’s Daily Mail treats us to an extensive image gallery of Larung Gar, a remote settlement in northern Tibet that has mushroomed into one of the largest Buddhist institutions in the world. Shot by Japanese photographer Shinya Itahana during several visits in both summer and winter, the photos are both sweeping and intimate.

Larung Gar was founded in 1980 by one of the most influential lamas who chose to stay in Tibet, Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok, and at its height, his teachings would draw upwards of 100,000 people.In 2001, the Chinese government bulldozed 70% of the structures, but as these photographs show, Larung Gar has been rebuilt even more vast than before. After Khenpo Jigme Phuntsok’s passing in 2004, much of Larung Gar’s leadership duties fell to his niece, Ani Mumtso. Her presence has drawn thousands of Buddhist nuns to take up residence there.

Click here to view all the images.