china edition
 

 

Lhasa - Jokhang Temple

Tibet - Lhasa - Shigatse

Jokhang Temple is the spiritual center of Tibet. Everyday, pilgrims from every corner of Tibet make a long journey to the temple. Some of them progress by prostrating themselves throughout their journey until they reach the threshold of the temple. Pilgrims kindle butter lamps with yak butter, or honor the deities with white scarves while murmuring sacred mantras to show their pieties to the Buddha.

The temple lies at the center of the old Lhasa. Built in 647 by Songtsen Gampo and his 2 foreign wives, it has a history of more than 1,300 years. It was said that the Nepalese Princess Tritsun wanted to build a temple to house the image of Jowo Sakyamuni brought by Chinese Princess Wencheng.

Princess Wencheng reckoned according to Chinese astrology that the temple should be built on the pool where the Jokhang is now located. She contended that the pool was a witch's heart, so the temple should be built on the pool to get rid of evils. The pool still exists under the temple.

Every year, the Great Prayer Festival is held in the Temple. Initiation rites into lamahood of the Dalai Lama and Panchen Lamas are also held in this monastery.