Twelve monks were awarded the degree of Geshe Lharampa Friday in southwest China's Tibet Autonomous Region.
Geshe Lharampa, which means "intellectual" in the Tibetan language, is the highest academic degree for the Gelugba School -- also known as the Yellow Sect -- of Tibetan Buddhism. The history of Geshe Lharampa goes back 400 years.
The award ceremony was held in the Jokhang Temple in downtown Lhasa, the regional capital.
Phuntsog Tendar, a 34-year-old monk from the Ganden Monastery, won the first prize in the examination, saying he would work hard to impart his knowledge to the young monks and be a disciplined monk.
By end of 2018, a total of 117 monks have received the degree since the exam was restored in 2004.