Jokhang Temple— The Spiritual Center of Tibet
Jokhang Temple, located in the heart of Lhasa city, is a Tibetan Buddhist monastery built by the Tibetan king Songtsan Gambo. In Tibet, it’s said that “There is the Jokhang Temple first, followed by Lhasa City.” The Jokhang Temple has a central position in Lhasa, not only in the geographical position but also in Tibetan Buddhist culture. The reason why Lhasa city has the reputation of the holy land is related to this temple.
The Jokhang Temple has a history of more than 1,300 years and has a supreme status in Tibetan Buddhism. The Jokhang Temple combines the architectural styles of Tibet, Tang, Nepal, and India. It has become a thousand classical models of Tibetan religious architecture.
1 The history of Jokhang Temple
During the Tubo Kingdom, Princess Wencheng and Princess Jincheng each brought a precious Buddha statue of Sakyamuni to Tibet. As the most expensive dowry, the Nepalese princess brought the eight-year-old life-size Buddha statue of Sakyamuni while Princess Wencheng brought another 12-year-old life-size Buddha statue of Sakyamuni from Tang dynasty.
The Tibetans recognized that these two Buddha statues were the first Buddha statues to enter the snowy plateau. Then, to support that sacred Buddha statue, Songtsan Gambo began to build the earliest Buddhist buildings with the Jokhang Temple and the Jokhang Temple. All in all, the Jokhang Temple was built in the heyday of the Tubo Kingdom in the 7th century. The purpose of the building was for the 12-year-old life-size Buddha statue of Sakyamuni which was brought to Tibet by the Princess of Wencheng from the Tang Dynasty.
2 Cultural relics in Jokhang Temple
1) 12-year-old life-size Buddha statue of Sakyamuni
This Buddha statue was shaped by Sakyamuni himself when he was alive. After being molded, those disciples were fortunate enough to ask Master Shakyamuni to chant for this Buddha statue. The preciousness of the statue is not only because of its historical value and cultural value, but also the most important thing is that there is no difference between the Buddha statue and the Master Shakyamuni who saw it 2,500 years ago.
There are only three life-size Buddha statues of Sakyamuni in the world. Shakyamuni, who is the founder of Buddhism, opposed the idolatry when he was alive. At the end of his life, Sakyamuni only agreed to use his own three different ages to form a statue and personally draw for the statue. Among the three Buddha statues, the bronze statue of Sakyamuni as the prince at the age of 12 is the most exquisite and distinguished. After the Buddha statue flowed from ancient India to China, then it was brought to Tibet by Princess Wencheng from the Tang Dynasty. The 12-year-old life-size Buddha statue of Sakyamuni was enshrined in the Jokhang Temple now.
2 ) Qiangba Buddha
There is a Qiangba Buddha in the Jokhang Temple, which is very famous in Lhasa. It is said that it controls the weather in Tibet. Every year before the end of the Tibetan New Year, it is necessary to take it out around the Jokhang Temple for a week.
3) Famous Kora road called Lin Kuo
Taking the Jokhang Temple as the center, a large circle including the Potala Palace, Yaowang Mountain, Barkot street and Ramoche Temple is called “Lin Kuo”. It’s a famous kora road for the Tibetan people.
3 Tour Jokhang Temple with Sacred Tibet Travel
If you are planning to travel to Tibet, see our most popular tours for inspiration.
5-Day Lhasa Classics and Lake Yamdrok Tour: See Lhasa’s highlights and enjoy a lakeside picnic nearby Lake Yamdrok.
Or contact us to tailor-make your unique tour according to your requirements. For more Jokhang Temple tour please see Lhasa tours.
Recommended Tour Pacakges
Send us a message and get a response within 0.5 ~ 24 hours. Your personal info will be kept confidential.