BEIJING – Lhasa’s Jokhang Temple, one of the most renowned temples in Tibetan Buddhism, has returned to normal after a fire at the weekend, with no casualties, the official news agency Xinhua reported on Monday.
Barkhor market, which surrounds the temple, was reopened on Sunday, according to the state media.
There were hardly any signs of Saturday’s fire, except for marks left by the water in the temple’s main hall, the report added.
A photo of the fire taken by a witness showed the main roof of the Jokhang engulfed in flames, leading to fears that the damage might be more serious than reported by state-controlled media.
Information about Tibet, access to which is practically prohibited to the foreign media, is strongly censored.
The source of the fire has not been specified.
The Jokhang Temple will be closed from Monday until Feb. 22 as scheduled, when its monks mark the New Year holiday.
The temple has a history of more than 1,300 years and is home to a community of monks. It is one of the most revered in Tibetan Buddhism and receives thousands of pilgrims every day.
According to Xinhua, many Tibetan pilgrims felt relieved upon learning that the most precious image, portraying the Buddha Sakyamuni when he was 12 years old, had not suffered any damage in the wake of the fire, which broke out around 6:40 pm Saturday and was soon put out.