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Jokhang Temple Lhasa

Located in the center of old Lhasa, the temple was built by craftsmen from Tibet, inland China, and Nepal and thus features different architectural styles. The temple is also the spiritual center of Tibet and the holiest destination for all Tibetan Buddhist pilgrims. For most Tibetans it is the most sacred and important temple. Along with the Potala Palace, it is probably the most popular tourist attraction in Lhasa. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Historic Ensemble of the Potala Palace".

Jokhang temple was constructed by King Songtsen Gampo probably in 642. It was originally called the Rasa Tulnang Tsuklakang. Both Bhrituti and Wencheng, the Nepalese and Chinese wives of Songsten Gampo brought important Buddhist images to Tibet as part of their dowries, and they were all housed here. This temple has remained a key center of Buddhist pilgrimage for centuries. It was sacked several times by the Mongols, but the building survived. The original complex included only eight shrines. After multiple renovations, most notably during the Yuan Dynasty (1206 - 1368), the Ming Dynasty (1368 ¨C 1644) and the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), the complex grew to the scale that exists today.

The Jokhang temple is a four-story construction, with roofs covered with gilded bronze tiles. The architectural style is based on the Indian vihara design, and was later extended resulting in a blend of Nepalese and Tang Dynasty styles. The rooftop statues of two golden deer flanking a Dharma wheel are iconic.

Jokhang Monastery Tibet