sights / Religious

Barkhor information

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Lonely Planet review

It's impossible not to be swept up in the wondrous tide of humanity that is the Barkhor, a kora (pilgrim circuit) that winds clockwise around the periphery of the Jokhang Temple. You'll swear it possesses some spiritual centrifugal force, as every time you approach within 50m, you somehow get sucked right in and gladly wind up making the whole circuit again! Spiritual souvenirs and pilgrim accessories line the entire circuit, with stalls selling prayer flags, amulets, turquoise jewellery, Tibetan boots, cowboy hats, yak butter and juniper incense. It's the perfect place to start your explorations of Lhasa, and the last spot you'll want to see before you bid the city farewell.

The crowd of pilgrims is captivating. Braided-haired Khambas from eastern Tibet swagger in huge chubas (cloaks) with ornate daggers; and Amdowa nomads from the northeast wear ragged sheepskins or, for women, incredibly ornate braids and coral headpieces.