Photos by Edwin Moise, May 25-27, 2005

The Jokhang Temple

The Jokhang Temple, in Lhasa east-southeast of the Potala, is both a tourist attraction and a functioning temple, an object of religious veneration. The potential for friction between the two roles made me uneasy, but I was not able to detect any open indication that it made the Tibetans uneasy. Tour guides were permitted to lecture their tour groups, very loudly, everywhere. On the other hand, photography was forbidden in the areas of most religious signficance inside the temple.

The Jokhang Temple faces on a large square. Two large incense burners and two tall poles are in front of the building.

Incense burner

Front windows.

Pilgrims prostrate themselves before the entrance to the Jokhang Temple, over and over. Next to the one who is down flat on his or her face is one on his knees, either just going down for or just coming up from such a prostration.

Freshly repainted decorative work inside the Jokhang Temple.

Note the contrast between the part that had been repainted, and the part that had not yet been.

On top of the temple

Two unicorns looking at (adoring?) a mandala. The one on the right is the male; you can tell by his horn, the curved object coming out of his head above his ear.

Another mandala with unicorns.

A street on one side of the temple, viewed from its top.

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Copyright © 2005, Edwin E. Moïse. Revised June 17, 2005.