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Friday, October 22, 2010

Lhasa Temples on the Pilgrimage Circuit

Pilgrims to the side of the Barkhor Square

Some of the most interesting sights in Lhasa are in and around the smaller temples and shrines some of which form part of the pilgrimage routes, called kora, around the Jokhang itself. There are also kora which we have seen within the Jokhang and a greater one around the entire city as well as individual ones around monasteries such as Sera.

The Jokhang area of Lhasa

In the above map, you can see the lesser known temples and shrines in blue, with the central circumambulation route around the Jokhang the centermost loop in the middle.

We spent a couple of days wandering in the Jokhang area and visiting several of these shrines in a somewhat random order. You can see several of these areas such as the markets, and the Muslim quarter in the chapter on Old Lhasa and the Jokhang in its own chapter.

A series of images of the pilgrims circumambulating the Jokhang

Video of the pilgrims walking the streets

Here Buddhas and drums are carried to be blessed as well as the ornate prayer wheels

One of the first shrines on the clockwise circuit around the Jokhang is the Mani Lhakhang a small shrine with very large prayer wheels, which we found the same people devotedly whirling hour in and hour out, still there when we returned to visit a second time. You can see two women in the video clip further down this page who are still there spinning the prayer wheel when we return right at the end of the video.

Faithful devotees turning the prayer wheels (above) at the Mani Lhakhang (below)
See video further down the page for live action!

Apparent contradiction - a monk in a leopard skin garb

Next to the Mani Lhakhang is the Jampa Lhakhang, a little temple set back up an alley from the main street.

A series of images of a small temple which may be the Jampa Lhakhang

Alleyways around the Jampa Lhakhang

Video of the small temples in Lhasa shown in this posting

This could be Rabtse Temple

A rampant Buddhist deity in Yab-yum sexual embrace

Many of the alleyways around the shrines are crowded with Tibetan devotees or people who have a particular link with a given shrine as their favourite or local temple.

A series of images in the neighbourhood of the Gonka Chode Chapel

The Jambala Lhakhang below Gonkar Chode and (below) its inner kora path

Above and below Ramoche Temple

Gyume Lower Tantric College

Meru Sarpa Monastery

Karmashar temple

Karmashar temple

Small children with a locket of the Dalai Lama

On our walk in the loop out to the Muslim quarter we also visited the Ani Sangkhung Nunnery where there was also a rather cute tea shop for visitors.

Images of the Ani Sangkhung Nunnery

The ancient tea shop with open fire cooking

Lho Riksum Lhakhang

Images of the Ningmapa Tengye Ling with its red-faced deity Tseumar

Buddha and consort in sexual Yab-yum embrace

A panorama of Shide Tratsang still ruined in a housing square

A series of images of Tsome Ling

A sculpted shrine of the deity in yab-yum sexual embrace with his consort

Further Yab-yum frescos

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