An increasing number of Buddhist followers from outside Tibet traveled to Lhasa for the Sera Bengqin Festival on Wednesday using the Qinghai-Tibet railway.
The Sera Bengqin Festival, which falls on Dec. 27 of the Tibetan calendar each year and is held at the Sera Monastery, attracted tens of thousands of Tibetans on Wednesday, many of whom had traveled from the neighbouring Qinghai and Sichuan Provinces.
"In the past, most of the monks and followers came from areas adjacent to Lhasa, but this year there is a marked increase of believers from Sichuan and Qinghai provinces," said Sangmu, a Tibetan elder in Lhasa who attends the event every year.
The Sera Monastery is one of the most famous monasteries in Lhasa along with the Drepung Monastery and the Ganden Monastery. It was built by disciples of Zong Kaba, founder of the Yellow Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, between 1403 and 1424.
Tibet ended its history without a railway in July 2006 with the operation of the 1,956-km Qinghai-Tibet Railway. The railway has prompted a huge surge in the number of visitors to Tibet.