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Jokhang Temple History

Time:02-04-2019 This Article is Composed by BudgetTibetTour

Tibet is rich with numerous sacred temples that played a huge part in its ancient history. They constantly attract hundreds of tourists from all over the world, who flock here to explore renowned temples, monasteries, chapels, and palaces.

The most popular, and the most sacred temple in Tibet is the Jokhang Temple, also known as the Jokhang Monastery, or the Qoikang Monastery. It's a Buddhist temple located in the Barkhor Square in Lhasa, the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region.


Johkang Temple

The Construction of Jokhang Temple

The Jokhang Temple was completed in 652 AD, which makes it more than 1,300 years old. The construction was ordered by King Songtsem Gampo of Tubo (Tibetan) Kingdom.

In the era of great prosperity in Tibet, King Songtsem Gampo married Princess Bhrikuti of Nepal and Princess Wencheng of the Tang Dynasty. Princess Bhrikuti brought a life-size statue of 8-year-old Jowa Sakyamuni as a dowry, while Princess Wencheng brought its 12-year-old counterpart.

It is believed that those statues are two of only three life-size Buddha statues that the Sakyamuni's wet nurse asked to be made.

As people were living in tents at the time, it was impossible to house the Buddha statues inside, so the King ordered the construction of the Jokhang Temple. The Little Jokhang was constructed first, followed by another huge complex.

The original complex comprised of eight shrines, but it kept expanding over time, during the Yuan Dynasty, the Ming Dynasty, and the Qing Dynasty. After multiple renovations and expansions, it became the enormous complex we know today.

The statue of the 12-year-old Sakyamuni Buddha, 1.5 meters high, remains the most sacred relic of Jokhang Temple to this day. It's what constantly attracts thousands of pilgrims to the temple, as well as plenty of tourists from all over the globe.

Becoming a Sacred Site


Johkang Temple

The development of Buddhism in Tibet wasn't without its challenges. The biggest opposers to Buddhism were the local followers of the Bon religion, who even started destroying Buddhist temples. The Jokhang wasn't spared, but the two statues were protected.

After all the anti-Buddhism activities stopped in the early 10 th century, Buddhism finally started rising again in the 11 th century.

More and more people started visiting the Jokhang Temple, where Buddhism was being taught, first by the Bengal Buddhist master Atisha, and later by Tsongkhapa, the Buddhist master and founder of Gelug Sect of Buddhism.

No trip to Tibet is ever complete without a visit to this wonderful temple. So, if you're planning a trip to Tibet, be sure not to miss Lhasa and the spiritual Jokhang Temple.

Budget Tibet Tours can help you plan your trip, so don't hesitate to contact us . Give us a call and we'll help you book the best Tibet tour that includes not only Jokhang Temple, but also many other legendary ancient sites that will absolutely take your breath away!

Travelers' Questions Might Help

The questions raised by our past customers can help you get a more clear picture about tours to Tibet, read them or tell us your own questions please contract us, our specialists will reply you within 24 hours.

Ms. Pa*** from: Can I apply for the Chinese Group Visa if I travel only by myself alone?
October 16, 2019 12:26

I want to take the train from Lanzhou to Lhasa on the 12th of Nov. 2019 and need a permit for Tibet. I want to spend 5-6 days in Lhasa. I need to book a train ticket and accommodation I am a U.S. citizen and a solo traveler. My 4th time to China.

Please help!! I have had no success with other tour agencies.

Answered by Nancy
October 17, 2019 02:03

Dear Ms. Pa***,

Thanks very much for your inquiry. From your travel time, here we recommend one 6 days Exploration of Legendary Ancient Cities group tour to you, and we currently have one departure date on 14th of November. Taking train from Lanzhou to Lhasa will cost you about 24 hours, and we are happy to help you book train ticket. Please kindly note that there is no "permit-only" or "accommodation-only" service, foreign tourists are not allowed to travel Tibet alone, you have to book a pre-organized tour including guide, car, and hotel as well. As you are only one person, joining a group tour is the most economical way. We will prepare guide, car, accommodation, Tibet permit for you. Applying for Tibet Permit requires copy of your passport and Chinese visa, and it usually takes about 15-20 days, if you want to join our tour, please send copy of your passport and visa to us quickly. I will send detailed itinerary to your email, please check it. Best regards.

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