The 1300-year-old Jokhang Temple is the spiritual heart of Tibet: the continuous waves of awestruck pilgrims prostrating themselves...
For your first visit to the Barkhor, enter from Barkhor Sq, a large plaza that was cleared in 1985. The square has been a focus for...
Gendun Choephel Memorial Hall
On the south side of the Barkhor Circuit, this dull museum focuses on a fascinating character. Choephel (1903-1951) was a monk, poet,...
This old-timer has a new location but is still an extremely popular place that serves a mix of excellent Continental and Nepali food in...
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! 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.
There are a couple of small temples that are worth exploring just off the circuit. From the northern side follow the alley south to the Meru Nyingba Monastery , a charming place that is normally packed with pilgrims. On the way back to the circuit pop into the orange-walled Jampa Lhakhang with its huge two-storey statue of Maitreya (Jampa in Tibetan; the future Buddha)