The main image at this temple is the fabulously ornate Jowo Mikyöba (Akshobhya) statue, which represents Sakyamuni at the age of eight. The statue is in the inner Tsangkhang, protected by the four guardian kings and a curtain of chain mail, which pilgrims rub for good luck. The lower half of the statue was discovered in 1983 in a Lhasa rubbish tip and the head was discovered in Beǐjīng’s Forbidden City and brought back to Lhasa by the 10th Panchen Lama.
As you enter the popular temple, past pilgrims doing full-body prostrations, you’ll see a protector chapel to the left, featuring masks on the ancient pillars. On the left-hand side of the chapel is an encased image of the divination deity Dorje Yudronma covered in beads and seated on a horse, while to the right is a statue of the protector Gompo Sedon that was commissioned by the 13th Dalai Lama.
The Ramoche was badly damaged by Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution, but the complex has since been restored with Swiss assistance.