“House of The Lord”- Jokhang Temple
Jokhang Temple is commonly known as the “House of the Lord”. The temple is situated in Lhasa. It is stated as one of the most sacred sites in Tibet. A huge number of people following Tibetan Buddhism as well as national and international tourists are attracted to the temple. Every year annually a Great Prayer festival is hosted in the temple attracting crowds of prostrating Tibetan pilgrims and curious foreign tourists every year. Panchen Llamas and Dalai Lama’s commencement ceremony also take place in the Temple.
The temple has four floors. The area covered by the temple is around 25,000 sq. meters. The temple is located in the center of Lhasa city. The temple shows the influence of India, China, and Nepal.
King Songsten Gampo founded the temple in AD 647. The king had pride in being the first-ever ruler of amalgamated Tibet. Later he got married to 2b princess. These princesses showed Tibet the way to Buddhism. His first wife Bhrikuti was the Nepalese king’s sister, while the other one was a Chinese princess. A temple was built for the placement of the holy Buddha figure. The Buddha image, Jowo Rinpoche was the part of the dowry that the princess brought with her from China. The statute is still present in the Jokhang temple and is known to be Tibet’s most holy entity.
A variety of customs have been explained for the temple’s establishment. One of the legends states that the place where Queen Bhrikuti constructed the temple was selected by Queen Wengcheng according to feng shui. While the other tells the story of how the king was guided by supernatural powers and told him to construct the temple on the lake. Accordingly, the lake was filled with mud and the temple stood over it.
The expansion of the temple kept on going on for many years. The temple was reconstructed in the 17th century by Dalai Lama V. The basic structure of the temple is the same as it was in the 7th century.
Jokhang Temple these days is kept open for pilgrims as well as tourists. The crowd is very much controlled by the government of China. According to the rule, only 100 monks are supposed to be present in the temple at a single time. Hundreds of police patrol across the city, thus if monks are found speaking to outsiders do find themselves landing up in numerous problems.
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The temple is the most significant pilgrimage for Tibetan Buddhists. Pilgrims usually walk to the temple from various parts of the country. They walk long distances just as a self-imposed punishment. Many pilgrims cross the last few miles by lying straight on the ground and then moving further. It is a ritual of circumnutating the temple before entering it.
How to reach
Lhasa Gonggar Airport is the nearest airport from where taxis, buses, tricycles as well as cars are available for further traveling.
Best time to visit
The best time of the year to visit is April-October.
Even though the temple is open from morning 6 till 8:30 night, visitors are permitted to enter the temple only after 12 noon.
Every individual needs to pay ¥70 as the entrance cost.
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