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Barkhor Street

--A must-see for any visitor going to learn about Tibet culture, economy, religion, and arts.

Barkhor Street is the oldest street in Lhasa and runs through the center of the old city surrounding the Jokhang Temple, served as a trading and religious center. It's a must-see for visitors wanting to learn about Tibetan culture, economy, religion, and arts.

The bustling Barkhor Street in Lhasa

The bustling Barkhor Street in Lhasa

In the 7th century the king of Tibet, Songtsen Gampo (617-650 AD), the first king built Jokhang Temple to house the statue of Sakyamuni, making the temple a sacred place for all Tibetan Buddhists. It attracted thousands of Buddhists due to the magnificence of the statue. As a result, a trodden path appeared. That is the origin of Barkhor Street. Tibetans walk clockwise around the Jokhang Temple to pay their respects to Sakyamuni. Today even still many pilgrims holding the prayer wheels walk clockwise there from dawn to dark. It is the Tibet's "Sacred Way". You can see some pilgrims walking or progressing body-lengths by body-lengths along the street. Even some of them are teenagers or have experienced thousands of miles' walk to reach this sacred place. The way they express their piety could make you understand the holiness of religion.

Barkhor Street-Lhasa

Barkhor Street-Lhasa

The Barkhor area of Lhasa is also a traditional street where visitors can roam and snap pictures. Roads are paved with stones that have been ground by hand Houses are built according to traditional Tibetan style with colorful prayer flags fluttering in the breeze. The senior citizens walk slowly, quietly chanting a piece of Buddhist scripture whilst revolving their prayer wheels. At Barkhor you can experience firsthand a culture and its customs that are centuries old and still going strong even in a modern, technological world.

The street is also a marketplace for shoppers with all kinds of handmade souvenirs. Religious objects such as prayer flags, prayer wheels, thangkas, Tibetan ornaments, and Tibetan knives and so on.

Each day hundreds of Buddhist pilgrims flow in from every corner of Tibet and across China to make the trek through Barkhor Street. Some merely walk, but you will be shocked to see others crawling in full-body length to worship Sakyamuni. Barkhor will allow you to experience firsthand the religious fervor of Tibet.

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