Shangri-La thangka exhibition sets world record

SHANGRI-LA, Yunnan, June 21 (PNA/Xinhua) — A Tibetan Buddhist shrine in Shangri-La of southwest China’s Yunnan Province set a Guinness World Record on Sunday for the biggest exhibition of thangka paintings.

Guinness certification officer Gulnaz Ukassova conferred the certification at the opening of the exhibition of 1,699 paintings, which also marked the inauguration of the 12-story shrine and exhibition center.

It was named Shambhala Kalachakra Altar and blessed by 11th Panchen Lama Bainqen Erdini Qoigyijabu on May 28.

In addition to thangka, or Tibetan scroll paintings, the shrine also houses a 21-meter high statue of the Buddha as well as 2,000 Tibetan relics.

Lu Zhijun, the head of Shangri-La’s publicity department, said it took nearly 10 years to build the shrine, costing around 500 million yuan (80 million U.S. dollars).

Thangkas are seen as a kind of encyclopedia of Tibetan culture. The paintings on display at the shrine showcase not only the development of Buddhist art but also Tibetan lifestyles. (PNA/Xinhua)