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Tibet's Jokhang temple, a UNESCO World heritage site catches fire; no reports of casualties as of now

Beijing: A major fire broke out at one of Tibet's holiest Buddhist temples, Jokhang Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site in the capital Lhasa with a history of more than 1,300 years.

There were no reports of any casualties, state-run Xinhua news agency reported, without specifying the damage caused by the fire to the temple. The fire started at 6.40 pm on Saturday but was soon brought under control, it said.

Representational image. AP

Representational image. AP

Firefighters doused the fire and the relics are intact, state-run China Daily reported, without providing details.

The Jokhang temple, also known as the Qoikang Monastery, is regarded by the Tibetans as the most sacred and important temple in Tibet.

The fire at over 1,300 years Jokhang temple raised fears over its future as investigators tried to determine the cause of the blaze, Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post said.

Internet users posted pictures and videos of the fire on social media, showing flames shooting high into the sky above old Lhasa. The extent of the fire damage to the site, considered the spiritual heart of Tibetan Buddhism, was not known, the Post said.

The oldest part of the temple was built more than 1,300 years ago and the whole structure was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage list in 2000 as part of the Potala Palace, the official home of successive Dalai Lamas. The Jokhang Temple houses many cultural treasures, including a life-sized statue of Buddha when he was 12 years old.

The temple attracts thousands of pilgrims and tourists from home and abroad


Updated Date: Feb 18, 2018 13:46 PM

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