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Tsuglagkhang (or Jokhang Temple)
Jokhang Temple is the most important temple in Tibet. It literally implies ‘House of Buddha’ and is a splendid four-storied temple with a gilded rooftop. This temple is built in as a classic mix of Indian, Tibetan and Nepalese architectural designs. Jokhang Temple is known for the marital alliance between Tibet king Songtsan Gampo and his Chinese wife Wen Cheng in 7th century. In it is installed the original statue of Jowo Sakyamuni Buddha that princess Wen Cheng had brought from China. Also of note, is another statue of Lord Buddha that king Songtsan Gampo’s second wife, princess Bhrikuti from Nepal, had brought along with her.
Phodrang Potala (Potala Palace)
It is believed that King Songtsen Gyalpo had built a palace on Red Hill for both his wives in the year 647 AD. This structure was intermittently rebuilt by Dalai Lamas over next few centuries until 1755. Today it stands as a 14-storied palatial magnificence of 1000 rooms and golden tombs, both dedicated to Dalai Lamas. Potala Palace is a center of religious and political activities in Tibet and it attracts a large number of visitors every year for its rare gold hand-written Buddhist scriptures, precious gifts from the Chinese emperors and other antique items.
Once Tibet’s biggest and richest monastery, Drepung Monastery was founded in 1416 AD to train new Dalai Lama and uphold the state’s oracle. It was also the principal seat of the Gelugpa School and was the residence of the Dalai Lamas until 1755 AD. Owing to its association with Dalai Lamas, this monastery had very high standards of academic study and was sought by students from all parts of the country. This monastery has sadly lost much of its independence because severe restrictions are levied against it by Chinese government since 1950s.
Barkhor Street Market
Barkhor Street Market is a hexagonal circuit of narrow streets and a public square located around Jokhang Temple in Lhasa, Tibet. It is located on the oldest street in Lhasa and is a booming tourist hotspot. One can visit the Jokhang Temple here and purchase Buddhist Thangkas, traditional handicrafts, prayer flags, prayer wheels, butter lamps, incense, beads and several handmade household items here. Barkhor Street Market and Barkhor Square together are also a center of political protests and pitched-up battles between Chinese armed forces and Tibetans monks on several occasions. Visitors can take time to enjo traditional Tibetan foods and beverages here, especially the tea, which is quite popular here.