Located in the center of old Lhasa city, the Jokhang temple is a prime seat of the of the Tibetan Buddhism, inside we will see lots of statues from different sects. It was first built in 647AD. Main statue inside is the life-sized statue of Sakyamuni at the age of 12, Chinese princess brought from Tang Dynasty. It was believed that the statue was modeled according to the appearance of Sakyamuni and was consecrated by Sakyamuni himself.
There were three life-sized statues of Sakyamuni in the world. One is eight years old, another twelve years old and the last eighteen years old. Originally, the life-sized statue of Sakyamuni aged 16 was in India, however, it sank into the Indian Ocean in the religious war. Thus, the life-sized statue of Sakyamuni aged 12 was the most precious one.
Songtsen Gampo constructed the Ramoche Monastery for Princess Wencheng to house that statue. and he actually built the Jokhang Monastery for house another life-sized statue of Sakyamuni age of 8, which brought by Nepalese Princess Trizun. Later during Tibet civil war, these two statues are misplaced. After years of expansion, the Jokhang Monastery has today’s scale.
Location: center of old Lhasa city
Admission Fee: 85 RMB per person.
Recommendation Rate: ☆☆☆☆
History Of Jokhang Temple
In the 7th century AD, Emperor Songsten Gampo was leading Tibet as a most powerful country in central Asia, that no country could parallel. Songtsen Gampo was a statesman of vision. He sent his minister Thomi to India and recreate Tibetan language structure and calligraphy. He also drafted Law for the first time in Tibet, built lots of temples, for friendship with the neighboring country, he married the Nepalese Princess Tritsun and Tang Princess Wencheng.
Songtsen Gampo built Jokhang temple for housing Sakyamuni Statue brought from Nepal by his Nepalese wife Tritsun. About detail history, we can see on wall painting of Potala Palace and Jokhang temple. Songtsen Gampo throws his ring inside Wotang Lake and from that white pagoda was rise up. His Nepalese wife built this temple with Nepalese, Chinese and Tibetan architectural style.
the gate of the monastery faced west to show the princess’s nostalgia for her homeland. Bon master reckoned that the terrain of Tibet just like a Rakshas witch lying on her back Hence came to the existence of the monastery which has a history of thousands of years.
The Jokhang Monastery suffered from huge disasters during the cultural revolution, many statues inside is melt or sold to a foreign country, still today you can see the result of destruction.