Barkhor is the road tramped out around Jokhang Temple through centuries

Barkhor is the road which pilgrims tramped out around Jokhang Temple through centuries. Buddhist pilgrims walk or progress by body-lengths along the street clockwise every day into deep night. They comprise most of Lhasa‘s floating population. Careful visitors may find there are 4 columns, on which colorful scripture streamers are hung flying over the street. All pilgrims walk outside of them to show respect. The custom started in Tubo period (633- 877).

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Over time side streets, lanes and alleys were added and the Barkhor Square. Today the pilgrims are still circumambulating the temple and the surrounding area has become a major tourist destination. This is the best place to see Lhasa’s traditional Tibetan architecture and the streets are lined by small shops selling Tibetan souvenirs such as prayer wheels, the tradition Tibetan long-sleeve ‘chuba’, Tibetan knives, jade jewellery, Buddhist statues and other religious artefacts. It is also the place to find ‘Thangka’ or Tibetan scroll paintings with themes of religion, history, literature, etc.

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Tips:
1. You should walk in a clockwise direction along the street.
2. It is better not stay too late there. Because there are many lanes there, it’s easy to lose your way in the evening.
3. Different vendors may sell the same thing at different price. So you’d better ask several vendors and get more information of the articles. Of course, you should also know how to bargain with them.
4. According to the tradition of Tibet, the vendor will give a favorable price to the first customer and the last one in a day.

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Potala Palace was originally built more than 1,300 years ago

Potala Palace was originally built more than 1,300 years ago in the 7th century. Because of the damage made by a war, the structure was rebuilt in the 17th century by the Fifth Dalai Lama. Repeated repairs and expansions until 1645 finally brought the palace to its present scale.

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The marvelousPotala Palace is made of wood and stones. The walls are all made of granite, and the roofs are all made of wood. The overhanging eaves, the upturned roof corners, the gilded brass tiles and pillars all inscribed with Buddhist scriptures, bottles, and makara fish as well as the gold-winged bird decoration the roof ridges contribute much to the beauty of the hip-an-gable roofs.
The building measures 400 metres east-west and 350 metres north-south, with sloping stone walls averaging 3 m. thick, and 5 m. (more than 16 ft) thick at the base, and with copper poured into the foundations to help proof it against earthquakes. Thirteen stories of buildings – containing over 1,000 rooms, 10,000 shrines and about 200,000 statues – soar 117 metres (384 ft) on top of Marpo Ri, the “Red Hill”, rising more than 300 m (about 1,000 ft) in total above the valley floor.

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Potala Palace has the implementation of pre-integrated ticketing system restricted, limiting the number of visitors is 2,300 people a day (about 700 individual tickets), after 17:00 every day, it sells the next day and later tickets, the pre-sale ticket limited 4 per person, you must line up for tickets one day in advance, certificate and identity card number must be provided, according to the sequence of queuing, ticket marked on the card the next day’s tour time, buy enter ticket with your ID card in the gate of Potala Palace.

Tibet is a mysterious place

Tibet, this stands at the top of the world in the city, the average elevation of four thousand meters above the snowy plateau gestated from generation to generation of the Tibetan people, they love this piece of land, they use their enthusiasm in this land, carry forward. If you want to come here to travel, it must first look at the culture of Tibet, this will provide you travel help.

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Talking about Tibet’s culture, it should be from the Tibet festivals. Tibetan is one of the many festivals, it is said that this year have greatly small 100 Festival. In the every kind of festival contains different meaning. We have to say that the Tibetan New Year. The Tibetan beginning in January 1st, Tibet is the most solemn holiday; there is the Lantern Festival, the lunar January fifteen people light a lot of butter lamp, lamp holder, and build a lighthouse, also with the butter sculpture painting and various patterns, is very good! Besides these there are some Tibetan people must celebrate the holiday, which I have no one one was introduced, which you have come here to experience will have the feeling.

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Tibet is a mysterious place, its quiet its sanctity, the dream of everyone here will be pure, here is the Tibet, a let you cherished place, your every act and every move can let Buddha discerned, your heart here by the pious washing, your everything about life disruption and not be understood become meaningless, you in here, don’t think of sad thing, the scenery here in heaven with you around, your physical and mental Piaoyang, you all here quietly hide, to look at the mysterious and profound.

Tashi Lhunpo Monastery is seat to the Panchen Lama

  Tashi Lhunpo Monastery is seat to the Panchen Lama, the second most important spiritual leader of Tibet. In 1447 the Monastery was founded by His Holiness the 1st Dalai Lama, Gyalwa Gendun Drup, in Shigatse, Tibet’s second largest city. It is one of the four great monasteries of Central Tibet and was supervised and looked after by the Dalai Lamas and Panchen Lamas of the Gelugpa, or Yellow Hat tradition. It has the glory of producing thousands of renowned scholars in the field of Mahayana Buddhist Philosophy and Tantra.

 
  During the lifetime of the 4th Panchen Lama, Lobsang Choekyi Gyaltsen, there were more than 3,000 monks in the Monastery and by 1959 there were 5,000, with another 2,000 monks affiliated to the monastery living outside Tibet. The Communist Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1959 and the Cultural Revolution from 1966-80 both wreaked destruction on Tibet’s monastic institutions, which lost many precious scriptures, statues and images. Many monks were killed or imprisoned and only 250 were able to follow the Dalai Lama into exile.
  The monastery was founded in 1447 CE by Gedun Drub, the nephew and disciple of the famous Buddhist philosopher Je Tsongkhapa and later named the First Dalai Lama. The construction was financed by donations from local nobles.
  In 1791 the monastery was attacked and looted by an army of Nepalese Gurkha warriors but were driven out by the Chinese who at the same time strengthened their control, over the temple and Tibet.
  Choekyi Gyalpo, the 11th Panchen Lama according to the government of the People’s Republic of China, has been enthroned there, while Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, the 11th Panchen Lama recognised by the Dalai Lama, has been held under “protective custody” by the Chinese authorities since 1995.
Tashilhunpo in its prime had over 4,000 monks and had four Tantric colleges each with its own Abbot. After the death of a Panchen Lama, these four abbots led the search for his infant incarnation and one of them always acted as a prime minister of Tsang under the control of the Dalai Lama in Lhasa.

Chinese New Year is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays

  Chinese New Year is the most important of the traditional Chinese holidays. In China, it is also known as the ‘Spring Festival’, the literal translation of the modern Chinese name. Chinese New Year celebrations traditionally ran from Chinese New Year’s Day itself, the first day of the first month of the Chinese calendar, to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first month. The evening preceding Chinese New Year’s Day is an occasion for Chinese families to gather for the annual reunion dinner. Because the Chinese calendar is lunisolar, the Chinese New Year is often referred to as the “Lunar New Year”. This year it falls on the 10th of February 2013 and is the year of the snake.

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  There are many legends about the festival in Chinese culture. In folk culture, the Spring Festival is There are many legends about the festival in Chinese culture. In folk culture, the Spring Festival is also called “guonian” (meaning “passing a year”). It is said that the “nian” (year) was a strong monster which was fierce and cruel and ate one kind of animal including human being a day. Human beings were scared about it and had to hide on the evening when the “nian” came out. Later, people found that “nian” was very scared about the red color and fireworks. So after that, people use red color and fireworks or firecrackers to drive away “nian” every year. As a result, the custom of using red color and setting off fireworks remains. More information about Chinese New Year in China tour chinatourguide.com.

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  Waking up on New Year, everybody dresses up. First they extend greetings to their parents. Then each child will get money as a New Year gift, wrapped up in red paper. People in northern China will eat jiaozi, or dumplings, for breakfast, as they think “jiaozi” in sound means “bidding farewell to the old and ushering in the new”. Also, the shape of the dumpling is like gold ingot from ancient China. So people eat them and wish for money and treasure.
  Southern Chinese eat niangao (New Year cake made of glutinous rice flour) on this occasion, because as a homophone, niangao means “higher and higher, one year after another.” The first five days after the Spring Festival are a good time for relatives, friends, and classmates as well as colleagues to exchange greetings, gifts and chat leisurely.

The Lhasa River originates from Nyangqentanglha Mountain

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  Lhasa, the capital of China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, has a history of more than 1,300 years. It is the political, economic, cultural and transport center of the region. Lhasa covers an area of close to 30,000 square km. It has a downtown of 544 square km and a population of 400,000; 140,000 of its people live in the downtown area. Lhasa is home to the Tibetan, Han, and Hui peoples, as well as many other ethnic groups, but the Tibetan ethnic group makes up 87 percent of the total population.

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  The Lhasa River originates from Nyangqentanglha Mountain (5,020 meters about sea level) on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. It as one of the five major tributaries of the Yarlung Zangbo is 551 km long and its drainage area is nearly 30,000 square km.

The history of the Jokhang Temple can be dated back to the Tang dynasty

  The Ramoche Monastery was built to consecrate the life-sized statue of the twelve year-old Sakyamuni and the Jokhang Temple to consecrate the life-sized statue of the eight year-old Sakyamuni. In 710 AD, Chinese Princess Jincheng married another King of Tubo and swapped the location of the two statues; today the statue of the of twelve year-old Sakyamuni is in the Jokhang Temple and the statue of eight year-old Sakyamuni is in the Ramoche Monastery.

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  It is said that there are only three life-sized statues of Sakyamuni in the world that were all molded according to the appearance of Sakyamuni at the ages of eight, twelve and twenty-five, all the three statues were consecrated in India at the beginning. The statue of eight-year-old Sakyamuni, which the Princess Tritsun brought to Lhasa, was damaged and is not in its full integrity today. The statue of twenty-five-year-old Sakyamuni was lost. The statue of twelve-year-old Sakyamuni is the most exquisite of the three. The Princess Wencheng spent three years bringing the statue from Chang’an to Lhasa. The statue is incomparable in honor. The Tibetan Buddhists trek a long way from their homes to Lhasa to worship this statue, not for the statue’s great value as a culture relic but rather that they strongly believe that the statue is exactly the same appearance as Sakyamuni 2500 years ago. This is their opportunity to have a look at a real divinity. Lhasa is in part regarded as a sacred city because of this sacred statue.

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  The history of the Jokhang Temple (Jokhang Monastery) can be dated back to the Tang dynasty. It was initially built by King Songsten Gampo probably in 642. At that time, both Wencheng and Bhrituti, the Tang and Nepalese wives of Songsten Gampo brought important Buddhist statues and images to Tibet as part of their dowries. To house the statues and images brought by Princess Wen Cheng, King Songtsem Gampo constructed the Little Jokhang. Jealous of her, Princess Burikuti asked the king to build a Jokhang for her as well. Therefore, in 647 the giant complex was put up.
  If you want to see the whole complex in a single view, which is an absolute delight, climb on to the square of the Jokhang temple, from where you will get the most amazing scenes of the temple. Here you will find two big steles, both inscribed. One stands as testimony to the alliance between kings of Tibet and Tang, and the other is a walled enclosure in front of the temple which contains some willows called the Jowo Utra (‘Hair of the Jowo’) and a doing or inscribed pillar erected by the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) in 1793 during a smallpox epidemic. It records the central government taught the Tibetan people how to prevent and treat this incurable disease.