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Jokhang Temple

Tibet's "House of the Lord"; is the holiest in Tibet, the ultimate pilgrimage destination. The four-storey timber complex of the Jokhang Temple houses the Jowo Buddha, a sculpture brought as part of the dowry for the Chinese Princess Wencheng upon her arrival in Tibet. It is said that when her husband King Songtsen Gampo died, the princess hid the sculpture in the temple. The miraculous survival of this ancient Buddhist figure makes it one of Tibet's most revered images today.

Just how holy is the holiest of holies? Jowo's holiness can be measured by a series of concentric circles. Upon arrival at Lhasa, your typical pilgrim does not just jaunt across to Jowo. No, the true believer must first loop the loop around the old town of Lhasa along the Lingkor path, then the Barkhor trail, drawing closer to enlightenment. Then he or she is ready to orbit the inner Jokhang temple itself that hosts the Jowo via the Narkor trail. Then, and only then, can he or she proceed to the Jowo itself. Remember to perform prostrations along the routes in order to clock up spiritual merit.

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Jokhang Temple: China Luxury Tours Destination in Lhasa
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Pilgraims before the Jokhang Temple:  China Luxury Tours Destination in Lhasa
Detail of roof ornament on the Jokhang Temple:  China Luxury Tours Destination in Lhasa
Tibetan pilgrim by the Jokhang Temple: China Luxury Tours Destination in Lhasa
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