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Yumbulhakang Palace finds balance between protection and tourism

08-06-2013 09:38 BJT Special Report:Inside Tibet |

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By CCTV reporter Ai Yang

As tourism grows in Tibet, it’s getting more difficult to preserve sites while welcoming the increased number of travellers.

At 3,700 meters above sea level, Shannan prefecture in southern Tibet enjoys a mild climate. It’s a major grain producing region, blessed by history as well as nature.

CCTV reporter Ai Yang said, “Birth place of Tibetan culture and one of the richest regions, now to palace, first palace in Tibet.”

More than 2,000 years ago, the first king in Tibet built his first palace here. Yumbulhakang is now one of the oldest buildings remaining in Tibet. However, what tourists see now is the site of a palace that was destroyed during the cultural revolution, and restored again in the 1980s. Today local authorities are protecting the ancient relics with much more care.

"The government in recent years has invested more in relics protection. This year Yumbulhakang has received about 2 to 3 million yuan. The inside of the palace is really small and cannot host too many tourists at once, so we do not encourage them to stay inside long," Qiu Lin, Director of Tourism Bureau, Shannan Prefecture, said.

Photography is strictly prohibited inside the palace. This rule has largely helped reduce the time people spend standing in the limited space, and has given devoted buddhists citing sutras there a little peace.

CCTV reporter Ai Yang

Prayer flags, inscribed with symbols and mantras, have been used for centuries by Tibetans, and now tourists too. For those faithful believers, the wind will recite their blessings.

Ai said, “The blue prayer flag is the one that goes on top. The narrow road is difficult to climb, but judging from the piles of flags overlooking the palace, tourists as well as locals have spared no effort in placing their wishes there. The prayers give people comfort, but the survival of Yumbulhakang will as always, depend on our care and respect.”

 

Editor:Zhang Jingya |Source: CCTV.com

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