Jokhang - Norbulingka

2007/08 Asia Trip Itinerary | Home Page 2 of 3 | Page Down | Page Up
Jokhang Temple (House of the Buddha)
For most Tibetans this is the is the most sacred temple in Tibet.   A constant stream of devout pilgrims flow clockwise around the 800m Kora circuit.  Some prostrate themselves along the route
Songkang incense burners scent the air with juniper,  artemisia and bundles of dried herbs

Earning merit by placing prayer flags around the base of one of the two  victory banners at the entrance to the Jokhang


The ever whirring prayer wheels concentrate the mind and contain up to a mile of prayers which will be 'recited' as the wheels turn


   Women prepare to prostrate themselves at the entrance to Jokhang.  Young children also prostrate themselves around the Kora circuit

 Like their elders they have padded protection for their knees and wooden blocks attached to their hands on which they propel themselves forward

   Newly renovated ceiling detail inside the Jokhang
and a ferocious guardian lion
 It is a relief to be out on the roof surrounding the courtyard as the smell of burning sometimes rancid yak butter becomes nauseating when you are not used to it.  The Dharma wheel atop the temple and on the courtyard hangings symbolizes unity, the male deer symbolizes bliss while the female deer symbolizes emptiness

Three styles of victory banner

Barbara and Raine found the perfect spot from which to view the square in the late afternoon.  The Dhvaja or victory banners atop poles tower above the departing pilgrims and visitors, the Songkangs no longer scent the air but the sun still shines on the Potala

At the beginning of the summer the Dalai Lama and his household would form a great procession for the short journey to their summer home.   It must have been wonderful to behold
There are several palaces in the grounds as some Dalai Lamas chose to build their own, This one, set in a lake is particularly pretty.  
The palace built by the  present Dalai Lama is open to visitors
I was a little surprised to see the typical dark interior colour schemes, somehow I expected they might lighten up for the summer.  We spotted some art deco furniture with Asian influences,  it looked quite comfortable but was provided for the comfort of visiting guests of state rather than the residents
2007/08 Asia Trip Itinerary | Home Page 2 of 3 | Page Down | Page Up