Want immerse yourself in Tibet’s spiritual traditions? Want explore the authentic Tibetan culture? Then travel to Tibet to explore the Barkhor Street.
Barkhor is a circuit around the Jokhang Temple. It is a very large area. All buildings are white square structures with flat roofs, highlighted by intricately painted doors and windows and decorations colorful Tibetan door curtains and prayer flags shyly dancing with the breeze.
Being the oldest street in Lhasa and the main pedestrian path that circles the Jokhang Monastery, Barkhor Street is a lively combination of Buddhist pilgrims and marketplace. Buddhist activities always can be seen here. It is like a scene from a postcard that given a breath of life. The smoke from incense is everywhere and over the sacred shrine with its divine smell.
The holy Jokhang temple was crowded with Tibetan in traditional costume with strong faith and belief. Sounds of murmuring mantras are in every mouth of faithful devotees to maintain peace and prosperity in humanity. Feeling of strong mental and physical actions of being a Buddhist is super clear if someone gives a glance to the crowd, where many are doing the whole day prostration at main entrance and some are even doing the prostration around the holy temple that takes almost two hours to finish one circle. Then the rest, spinning the mantra wheels in their hand where one hand also spins prayer beads at the same time. Bakhor Street is the one that tells everything about Tibetans even by sitting at the corner and watching the spiritual movement.
Apart from the Buddhist pilgrims, it is also fantastic shopping centers for the travelers who like to buy original Tibet made things. Both sides of the streets are lined with shops selling prayer wheels, Thangkas, metal wares,ornaments and jewelry, traditional Tibetan clothes, boots and other religious items etc. However,when purchasing in Barkhor Street, there is one thing you have to learn—bargain. The same commodity can be sold at different prices in various stores. Never rush into buying something without bargain and comparison. According to their custom, sellers always sell goods with discount to their first and last customers, which you can also take advantage of. Be ready to be a price-killer when touring in Lhasa’s Barkhor Street!
Visa and Permit:
Independent traveling in Tibet is not allowed. Therefore one still needs to be part of an organized tour, at least with a tour guide and Tibet Travel Permit. Tourists can ask local travel agency for help.