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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
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
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 10th century, Buddhism finally started rising again in the 11th 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 via the form on the right side, our specialists will reply you within 24 hours.

user portrait Mr. Ba*** from: 4 Days Lhasa Holy Landmarks Express

Who is the tour organizer? Are the guides tibetan and English speakers?

Answered by Nancy

Dear Mr. Ba***,

Greetings from Nancy at Budget Tibet Tour, thanks for visiting our website and sending your inquiry. We are the tour organizer, and we have two offices, one is located in Lhasa as operating office, and one is located in Chengdu as sales office, but we are the same company. And also all of our guides are local Tibetan English speaking guide.
Please kindly let me know when you would like to take the tour? And How many people in your group? And where you will be before and after Tibet tour? After I get the details, I will forward you more details about the tour. Best regards.

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