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Jokhang Temple

The holy Jokhang Temple, Lhasa, Tibet

Located in the center of the old Lhasa, Jokhang Temple is indeed the spiritual center of Tibet. Since it was constructed by King Songtsen Gampo in  647AD, Jokhang Temple is the oldest temple in Tibet and as such, it has held many significant political and religious events of Tibet over the centuries.

When King Songtsen Gampo married a Nepalese Princess, and later a Chinese Princess, they both introduced Buddhism into Tibet. The Chinese Princess, Wen Cheng, brought a sculpture of Sakyamuni aged 12 while the Nepalese Princess brought a sculpture of Sakyamuni aged 8. Both of the sculptures are invaluable as they were both carved according to Sakyamuni's appearance whilst he was still alive. In order to house and preserve these holy sculptures, Jokhang Temple was ordered to be built. The sculpture of Sakyamuni aged 12 is still well preserved in the Main Hall of Jokhang Temple.

Prayer Wheels in Jokhang Temple, Lhasa, Tibet

Jokhang Temple also treasures many other culture relics: The Monument recording the alliance between Tibet and China still stands in front of Jokhang Temple; murals describing the entry of Princess Wen Cheng and the construction of Jokhang Temple are about 1,000 meters long; two thangkas, portraying Yamantaka and Chakrasamvara from the Ming dynasty (1368 - 1644) still remain, and are in perfect condition. The golden vase upon which the reincarnations of Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama are decided is also to be found here.

Every year, millions of pilgrims make a long pilgrimage to this most holy of places. The famous Barkhor Street was initially the way on which the pilgrims prostrated themselves and crawled around Jokhang Temple. Today, Tibetan people still follow this custom, moving clockwise around Jokhang Temple every dawn and dusk.

Admission Fee: CNY 70
Opening Hours: 09:00 to 18:00
Recommended Time for a Visit: Two hours
Bus Route: As the Temple is in the downtown centre you can just walk there.

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