Lhasa Real Estate
Location, Location, Location
Trode Khangsar is part of a dwindling number of historical buildings amongst a sea of encroaching development in the Lhasa valley. Not only is the city expanding on a course to soon exceed the valley itself, but historical buildings in its epicenter, critical elements of Central Asia’s holy city, are being torn down and replaced with modern urban housing, commercial buildings and other structures.
The Tibet Heritage Fund has been chronicling historical buildings in Lhasa since the 1990’s as they disappear like icicles in the sun. They provide this startling statistic:2
Out of the 600 buildings recorded by Peter Aufschnaiter in the city’s central area in 1948, an average of 35 buildings per year have been torn down since 1993, except in 1999 and 2000.
In other words, by 2011 virtually all of the historical buildings will be gone except those few that enjoy a protected status.
The lot of Trode Khangsar itself exemplifies this trend. A modern building obscures the front western half of the building. Another small historical protector house on its lot dedicated to Dorje Shugden’s attendent deity Khache Marpo was removed in the 1990s to make room for surrounding development. The Dagpo Drumpa mansion, a historical neighboring building, was demolished and replaced with other structures in the late 1990s. The basement of Trode Khangsar is now used as a dwelling (TOL, 196-198).
2 THF: demolition map subheading: http://www.tibetheritagefund.org/old_web/2_lhasa/2_04_en.html.