The 1300-year-old Jokhang Temple is the spiritual center of Tibet.
A constant wave of devout pilgrims prostrate outside is a testament to its timeless charm. The golden Buddha statue in the center here is the most revered in all of Tibet.
Jokhang was originally built to house the Buddha statues brought to Tibet by the Nepali wife of King Songtsen Gampo. However, another image, the High King Shakyamuni, was later brought here by the king’s other wife (Princess Wencheng of China). It is this image that gives Jokan both its name and its spiritual power.
Jokhang means “Chapel of Jowo”.
The two-story Jokhang is best visited in the morning, but the crowds of pilgrims scooping yak butter can get quite large. In the afternoon it is accessed through a side entrance, but only the first-floor chapel is visible (then only through the grate) and no pilgrims.