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Jokhang

One of the most holy sites in Tibet, the Tsuklakkhang (gtsug lag khang) is the heart of Lhasa, surrounded by the Barkor (bar skor) circumambulation route. The temple is also called the Jokhang (jo khang) because in its central wooden structure it houses the Jowo (jo bo), a statue of the young Buddha said to have been brought to Tibet by Wencheng, the Chinese wife of the Tibetan emperor Songtsen Gampo (srong btsan sgam po). The temple was originally built around 640 CE to house the buddha image brought by Songtsen Gampo's Nepalese wife, Bhṛkutī, but this statue was later switched with that of Wencheng. The temple complex has gradually expanded over the centuries. It remains today one of the most popular pilgrimage sites in Tibet.

Feature Types

Main Jokhang entrance, with seventh-century Wönzhang Pillar (rdo ring) visible against the white wall at lower left. (Jokhang)

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  • ཇོ་ཁང་། (Tibetan, Tibetan script, Original)
    • > Jokhang Temple (Tibetan, Latin script, Transcription-THL Simplified Tibetan Transcription)
    • > Jokhang (Tibetan, Latin script, Transcription-THL Simplified Tibetan Transcription)
    • > jo khang (Tibetan, Latin script, Transliteration-THL Extended Wylie Transliteration)
  • ལྷ་ལྡན་ར་ས་འཕྲུལ་སྣང་གཙུག་ལག་ཁང་། (Tibetan, Tibetan script, Original)
    • > Lhaden Rasa Trülnang Tsuklakkhang (Tibetan, Latin script, Transcription-THL Simplified Tibetan Transcription)
    • > lha ldan ra sa 'phrul snang gtsug lag khang (Tibetan, Latin script, Transliteration-THL Extended Wylie Transliteration)
    • > ལྷ་ལྡན་ར་ས་འཕྲུལ་སྣང་གི་གཙུག་ལག་ཁང་། (Tibetan, Tibetan script, Alt Spelling-Expansion)
      • > Lhaden Rasa Trülnanggi Tsuklakkhang (Tibetan, Latin script, Transcription-THL Simplified Tibetan Transcription)
      • > lha ldan ra sa 'phrul snang gi gtsug lag khang (Tibetan, Latin script, Transliteration-THL Extended Wylie Transliteration)
    • > ལྷ་ས་གཙུག་ལག་ཁང་། (Tibetan, Tibetan script, Alt Spelling-Contraction)
      • > Lhasa Tsuklakkhang (Tibetan, Latin script, Transcription-THL Simplified Tibetan Transcription)
      • > lha sa gtsug lag khang (Tibetan, Latin script, Transliteration-THL Extended Wylie Transliteration)
      • > གཙུག་ལག་ཁང་། (Tibetan, Tibetan script, Alt Spelling-Contraction)
        • > Tsuklakkhang (Tibetan, Latin script, Transcription-THL Simplified Tibetan Transcription)
        • > gtsug lag khang (Tibetan, Latin script, Transliteration-THL Extended Wylie Transliteration)
    • > ལྷ་ལྡན་གཙུག་ལག་ཁང་། (Tibetan, Tibetan script, Alt Spelling-Contraction)
      • > Lhaden Tsuklakkhang (Tibetan, Latin script, Transcription-THL Simplified Tibetan Transcription)
      • > lha ldan gtsug lag khang (Tibetan, Latin script, Transliteration-THL Extended Wylie Transliteration)
      • > Lhaden Tsuglakhang (Tibetan, Latin script, Transcription-Tibet Heritage Fund System of Tibetan Transcription)
Etymology for ཇོ་ཁང་།:

Lord-House. The name derives from the name of the most important Buddhist statue in the temple, the Jowo Shakyamuni (ཇོ་བོ་ཤཀྱ་མུ་ནེ/jo bo shakya mu ne) statue of the historical Buddha as a sixteen-year-old. Jowo can be translated as "Lord." Jokhang can also refer to the specific chapel inside the temple that houses the Jowo statue, although the chapel also carries the name Central Chapel (tsang khang ü ma/gtsang khang dbus ma).

Etymology for ལྷ་ལྡན་ར་ས་འཕྲུལ་སྣང་གཙུག་ལག་ཁང་།:

Literally, "god-possessing-wall/goat-place-magically-manifest-temple." In reference to this place, lha ldan and ra sa are alternates for Lha sa. ra sa could mean either walled-place, such as medieval walled-enclosure, or goat-place, in reference to the domesticated animals who carried dirt to fill in the lake under the temple before construction began. 'phrul snang refers to the mythology surrounding the construction of the temple, especially Songtsen Gampo's act of magically manifesting many avatars of himself to assist in the construction. gtsug lag khang is a term that generally means temple, but is sometimes used to specifically refer to temples founded during the imperial era of Tibetan history.

Place ID: F15474

GB Code - Ryavec: 540101102

Aufschnaiter Lhasa Map ID: ka 1

Tibet Heritage Fund Lhasa Building ID: A

Lhasa Atlas ID: 313

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GIS Resources (feature alone)

GIS Resources (including contained features)