Dates 4 Apr '13 to 9 Apr '13
Flexible? Yeah, sure
Est. Cost 1,000 - 10,000 USD (USD United States Dollars)
Type Tour Participants Wanted
Name Barkhor Street
Barkhor Street- Lhasa’s fascinating medieval pilgrim circuit street
It's impossible not to be swept up in the wondrous tide of humanity that is the Barkhor, a kora (pilgrim circuit) that winds clockwise around the periphery of the Jokhang Temple. It's the perfect place to start your Tibet tour, explorations of Lhasa, and the last spot you'll want to see before you bid the city farewell. The crowd of pilgrims is captivating. Braided-haired Khambas from eastern Tibet swagger in huge chubas (cloaks) with ornate daggers; and Amdowa nomads from the northeast wear ragged sheepskins or, for women, incredibly ornate braids and coral headpieces.
Located in the old area of Lhasa City, Tibet, Barkhor Street is a very ancient round street surrounding the Jokhang Temple and the Tibetan people are always proud of it. As a symbol of Lhasa, this street is also a must-see place for the tourists.
It's said that in 647, the first Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo (617 - 650) built the Jokhang Temple. Due to its magnificence, it quickly attracted thousands of Buddhist pilgrims. As a result, a trodden path appeared. That is the origin of Barkhor Street. Today even still many pilgrims hold the prayer wheels to walk clockwise there from dawn to dark. Also 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.
For tourists, Barkhor Street is a magical place showing the original outlook of Lhasa. The street was paved by hand-polished stone boards. Though it is not broad, it accommodates thousands of tourists every day. Varied shops stand on both sides of the street and thousands of floating stands are on every corner. Most of them offer the prayer wheels, long-sleeve 'chuba' (the Tibetan people's traditional clothes), Tibetan knives and some religious articles for sale. Furthermore, some shops sell 'Thangka' (the Tibetan scroll painting), which is a unique art of Tibet with the themes of religion, history, literature, science and customs. Surprisingly, there are some articles from India and Nepal in this street as well.
To sum up, Barkhor Street is a place full of religious atmosphere and a world of exotic articles. If you have been attracted by it, you should go there. Believe your eyes, and you will get a lot of surprise there.
1. When doing the kora everybody walks in the same direction: clockwise. Actually, the same direction of travel applies outside or inside of any temple or sacred place.
2. It is better not stay too late in the street. Because there are many lanes there, it's easy to lose your way in the evening.
3. Different vendors may sell the same thing at different price. So you'd better ask several vendors and get more information of the articles. Of course, you should also know how to bargain with them.
4. According to the tradition of Tibet, the vendor will give a favorable price to the first customer and the last one in a day.
5. Tibetan knives cannot be consigned by air. Ask the local retailer how to mail it before you buy.
6. There is a post agency on Barkhor Street. You can mail heavy or large souvenirs you bought or postcards there.
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