Saturday, March 12, 2005

Muli monastery then and now

Muli Sichuan 1994, originally uploaded by mutikonka1.

These two picture were taken from the same position. They show how Muli monastery looked in 1928 and when I paid my first visit there in the spring of 1994. All of the original buildings have been destroyed, and the wall knocked down. The main temple had been rebuilt, as had the head lama's residence that had originally been at the top of the town. Some of the old ruins were still visible at this time. The locals said the monastery town had been knocked down in the 1950s - well before the Cultural Revolution, when the monks resisted communist power. The buildings were systematically taken apart and used to build a new town across the valley, now called Wachang. The name Muli was also taken and used to describe the county town of Bowa, some 100km further down the Litang valley.

When I visited in 1994, there were about 40 novice monks, mostly local Pumi kids

Muli 2003 view
A similar view of Muli in the more verdant rainy season of 2003.
muli panorama


E. Heroux said...

Impressive project there -- the photo comparisons are interesting, and the travel looks like a major undertaking with memories for a lifetime.

You found the "Lost Horizon" of Hilton's novel, and alas it appears to be lost.

mutikonka said...

Thanks - it's an occasional but ongoing project, and provides some nice off the beaten track places to visit on holiday!
Hope to be there again in October.