Jokhang temple

Jokhang temple frontfaceOne place one must see while in Tibet is the Jokhang temple also knowns as Jokang, Jokhang Temple, Jokhang Monastery or Tsuklakang (gTsug lag khang).

This is a famous budhist temple located in Lhasa (traditional Tibet capital) on Barkhor square. It is one of the most popular tourist attraction in Lhasa

This temple has remained a key center of Buddhist pilgrimage for centuries. It was sacked several times by the Mongols, but the building survived. In the past several centuries the temple complex was expanded and now covers an area of about 25,000 sq. meters.

Jokhang statue

According to a legend, the Jokhang Temple was built on the former site of a lake. Every try to build a temple in the region ended by collapse of the building. Then they decided to build it on the lake site.

This phenomenom confused Princess Bhrikuti so much, that she turned to Wen Cheng for help. As she was very smart and learned woman, Wen Cheng told the Princess that the geography of Tibet was very much like a hag, with the lake at the heart. In order to build the temple, Wen Cheng advised they must demolish the hag by filling and leveling the lake using 1,000 sheep to carry soil from a mountain far away. When the temple was done, it was called Ra-Sa-Vphrul-Snang (‘ra’ meaning sheep and ‘sa’ meaning earth in Tibetan) to commemorate those sheep.

Whether the legend is true or not, this temple brought Buddhism into Tibet and became an inseparable part of Tibetan history and culture. The city of Ra-Sa grew around the temple and over time, become known as Lhasa, a holy land.

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Photos were taken from: with the permission of the author Filip Dvoracek.

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