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Jokhang Temple picture in Tibet
Inside Jokhang Temple picture in Tibet
Praying at Jokhang Temple picture in Tibet
Jokhang Temple at night picture in Tibet
Jokhang Temple picture in Tibet
Inside Jokhang Temple picture in Tibet
Praying at Jokhang Temple picture in Tibet
Jokhang Temple at night picture in Tibet

Key Info

  • Chengguan
    Lhasa, Tibet, China, 850000

Details

  • Churches/Religious Sites Type
  • 1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.8
Overall
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Scorecard

  • Value
    5.0
  • Facilities
    4.0
  • Atmosphere
    5.0

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Alongside Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple is one of the most important sites in Tibet. The Jokhang Temple was built in the seventh century to promote Buddhism in Tibet, and as such earned the distinction of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name Jokhang translates to "house of Buddha," or more specifically "chapel of the Jowo." And it lives up to its name. The temple houses more than 3,000 images of Buddha, deities and other historical figures in the religion, including the Jowo Shakyamuni.

Jowo Shakyamuni, or also referred to as the Jowo Rinpoche, is considered to be the most sacred image of Buddha in Tibet. It is said that the statue was sculpted by Vishwakarma – the Indian god of architecture – between the fifth and sixth century B.C., when Buddha was still believed to be alive. This has led to the belief that the Jowo Sakyamuni, as one of the earliest accounts of Buddha, is the most accurate visual representation of Buddha. Research has shown that this story is factually inaccurate, but that hasn't stopped crowds of Tibetans from coming to the temple to pray. The statue depicts Buddha the moment he reached enlightenment – legs in lotus position, one hand gesturing meditation with the other gesturing the "earth to witness."

You'll see throngs of pilgrims here, praying both inside and out. There are also accommodations on-site for monks. Travelers say witnessing this everyday way of life in Tibet makes the Jokhang Temple a rich cultural experience not to be missed. Not only that, but visitors say the temple complex is absolutely beautiful. Jokhang's design is an ornate mix of architectural elements originating in China, Nepal and India, so expect plenty of color. Travelers say it's important to keep in mind that this is a place of worship first and a tourist attraction second. Be mindful and respectful of the Tibetans that are there to pray and refrain from photography inside the temple.

You can find the Jokhang Temple in central Lhasa a little more than a mile east of Potala Palace. The temple is open from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. year-round (except when Tibet closes its borders to visitors from February to early April). However, the temple is closed to foreign visitors from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. every day for prayer. Admission costs 85 yuan, or about $13.

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#1 Jokhang Temple Alongside Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple is one of the most important sites in Tibet. The Jokhang Temple was built in the seventh century to promote Buddhism in Tibet, and as ... Read more » Sino Images / Getty Images

#2 Barkhor Street After days of visiting temples, palaces and monasteries, treat yourself to some souvenirs on Barkhor Street. Barkhor Street is one big circular street that goes around Jokhang Temple and is ... Read more » bawanch / Getty Images

#3 Potala Palace It's hard to miss Potala Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This grand, imposing structure stands more than 12,000 feet above sea level on Marpo-ri, or Red Hill ... Read more » Rat0007 / Getty Images

#4 Sera Monastery One of the best places to immerse yourself in Tibetan Buddhism is the Sera Monastery. Situated about 5 miles north of central Lhasa, this monastery is one of the most ... Read more » dotstone / Flickr

#5 Lakes Tibet's mountain ranges get a lot of love, but the region's many alpine lakes are just as noteworthy. In fact, the Tibetan people consider these lakes to be ... Read more » MuYeeTing / Getty Images

#6 Mount Everest Base Camp A trip to Tibet would not be complete without getting an eyeful of Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world. Everest sits on the border of Nepal and Tibet ... Read more » benedek / Getty Images

#7 Tashi Lhunpo Monastery Like the Potala Palace, the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery holds a lot of significance in Tibetan Buddhism. Not only was the Tashi Lhunpo Monastery founded by the first Dalai Lama, but ... Read more » crystaltmc / Getty Images

Jokhang Temple picture in Tibet
Buddhas at Barkhor Street picture in Tibet
Potala Palace picture in Tibet
Sera Monastery picture in Tibet
Yamdrok Lake picture in Tibet
Mount Everest Base Camp picture in Tibet
Tashi Lhunpo Monastery picture in Tibet
Jokhang Temple picture in Tibet
Buddhas at Barkhor Street picture in Tibet
Potala Palace picture in Tibet
Sera Monastery picture in Tibet
Yamdrok Lake picture in Tibet
Mount Everest Base Camp picture in Tibet
Tashi Lhunpo Monastery picture in Tibet

Jokhang Temple is one of three UNESCO World Heritage sites in Lhasa. The temple is famous for housing Jowo Shakyamuni, a Buddha statue that is considered among the most sacred in Tibet. Sino Images / Getty Images

Barkhor Street is a great place to pick up religious motifs and statues, including Buddha.  bawanch / Getty Images

Potala Palace stands high above Lhasa at 12,000 feet above sea level. Because of the altitude, you should ascend the stairs slowly.  Rat0007 / Getty Images

A lot of travelers visit the Sera Monastery to witness its famous debating monks. Every day, monks go out into the monastery's courtyard to debate Tibetan Buddhism doctrines in a lively fashion. dotstone / Flickr

Yamdrok Lake is 45 miles long and is known for its vibrantly hued waters. The color of the water changes depending on the position of the sun and the season.  MuYeeTing / Getty Images

The Mount Everest Base Camp is pretty basic. Should you camp, expect bathrooms to be in separate tents, eastern toilets and electricity run by a generator.  benedek / Getty Images

The Tashi Lhunpo Monastery was built by the first Dalai Lama and acted as the seat of power for the Panchen Lama, the second most important leader in Tibetan Buddhism.  crystaltmc / Getty Images

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