We visit some of the most beautiful places in the still enchanting Lhasa; the Sera monastery, the Jokhang temple and the Barkhor square.
The Sera monastery dates from the 15 th century (1419). Just like Drepung, Sera belongs to the yellow cap sect (Gelugpa). In the past the monastery was known for its tantric education. Nowadays, daily debates are held here by the monks present. The monks are discussing in a loud tone in the "debate garden" about Buddhism and faith. To reinforce their arguments, they clap their hands hard and sometimes stomp on the ground. In the past a few thousand monks lived in both Sera and Drepung, now a few hundred live again.
Beautiful rock paintings can be admired around the Sera monastery.
The 7 th century Jokhang temple is the spiritual heart of Lhasa, it is the most sacred place of Tibet. In the Jokhang is a beautiful statue of Sakyamuni that is lit by candles from yak butter. Pilgrims and believers shuffle past the sacred statue in the temple and make offerings of yak butter. From the roof of the temple you have a beautiful view of the city and of course the Potala rising high above the city.
The Barkhor square, near Jokhang, is the Medieval center of the city of Lhasa. Here it seems as if time has stood still for a long time. Pilgrims from Tibet, Nepal and India walk their sacred laps praying here. The lively Barkhor Bazaar with countless shops and market stalls winds its way through the old center of Lhasa.
Buddhists and pilgrims walk their holy rounds (kora) around the Jokhang and the Barkhor Bazaar. These koras are always walked with the clock hands and are a lively spectacle.