Sera Monastery - Lhasa
Sera is a large monastery in the suburbs of the town, laying on the rocky slope of a bare mountain north of Lhasa. It was founded in the 15th century by the Gelugpa sect, the religious order that detained the political and spiritual power in Tibet up to the Chinese occupation. Once it hosted more than 5000 monks, now reduced to a few hundreds. It consists of many buildings, spread on the mountain slope: temples, colleges and residences for the monks. It suffered serious damages during the Cultural Revolution and many buildings have been reconstructed.

Inside one of the temples blades of lights come from the roof windows, cutting the red darkness of the assembly hall.

In the afternoon the monks meet in a shady court to debate about theological arguments, with theatrical gestures and loud claps of hands.

Every day pilgrims from all Tibet come to visit the monastery. This is a young girl with a typical Tibetan dress, crowned by a (not so typical) rose woollen hat.

A prayer circuit runs all around the complex, flanked by large stones covered by colorful paintings showing the mantra OM MANI PADME HUM and terrific deities adorned by white silk scarfs, offered by pilgrims.