Jokhang Temple is located at the center of ancient Lhasa City. It was built by Songtsen Gambo in the 21st year of Zhenguan Period of Tang Dynasty and has a history of 1350 years. It was built for the two brides of Songtsen Gambo – Princess Bhrikuti of Nepal and Princess Wencheng of the Chinese Tang Dynasty.

Roof of Jokhang Temple, Potala Palace in the distance.

Jokhang Temple is the spiritual center of Tibet and the holiest destination for all Tibetan Buddhist pilgrims. Princess Wencheng made use of Chinese astrology to decide that the temple should be built over the pool where the temple is now located. She believed that the pool was a witch’s heart and that building the temple over it would purify the area of evil. This pool still exists under the temple.

There is an old saying among Tibetans goes that Lhasa City was constructed after the construction of Jokhang Temple. Lhasa City centered on Jokhang Temple, geographically and socially. The street around Jokhang Temple is called Barkhor Street. The pilgrims would circumambulate the monastery as an important part of their pilgrimage.

Take a bird-view from the top of Jokhang Temple, tourists could see the Potala Palace stands on the far hill. The famous Princess Willow which said to be planted by Princess Wencheng is on the square. The main construction of Jokhang Temple is a four-storey building. The roofs are covered with gilded bronze tiles.

Every year, Buddhist’s Great Prayer Festival is held in the Temple. The rites of Dalai Lamas and Panchen Lamas’ initiation into lamahood are also held in the monastery.

Tibet Tours
6 Day Beijing Lhasa Train Tour  train from Beijing to Lhasa and back to Beijing by flight
9 Day Grand Tibet & from Beijing by train  visit Lhasa and other Tibet areas
15 Day Beijing Tibet and Yangtze River Cruise Tour