Lhasa, one of the highest cities in the world, is located in the middle of the Tibetan plateau at 3,650 meters. It is the capital of the Tibet Autonomous Region and a sacred place of Tibetan Buddhism, known as the “Sunshine City”.
The eastern part of the city, near the Jokhang Temple and Barkhor, still keeps the Tibetan culture. The traditionally dressed Tibetans, holding the prayer wheels, engage in daily Kora around the holy Jokhang Temple. The western part of Lhasa is busy and modern and looks similar to many other Chinese cities.
Due to its rich cultural resources, Lhasa is a world-famous travel destination. Recently, more and more tourists have made their way here on foot, by bike, and by car to appreciate its beauty and Tibetan customs.
The Jokhang Temple and the Barkhor district:
With a history of more than 1,300 years, the Jokhang Monastery is one of the earliest buildings of Lhasa city and houses the one-of-a-kind treasure of world Buddhism – the 12-year-old equivalent statue of Sakyamuni which is the reason why Lhasa is called a “holy place”. As the spiritual center of Tibetan Buddhism, many pilgrims make the trip to Jokhang every day to pray not only at the entrance to the temples but also on the different paths going around the monastery.
Barkhor Street, central to the old town, is the most famous Kora path to circumambulate the Jokhang Temple and the commercial center of Lhasa. For pilgrims, they perform the sacred ritual on this path which usually takes about 30 minutes to finish one lap. While for tourists, it is a good place to explore local culture and buy all kinds of Tibetan clothing and handicrafts, as well as goods from India, Nepal, and elsewhere.
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