Inner Jokhang
    ======= Ground Floor =========
    Main Gate (Zhung-go): embedded in the flagstones in front of the gate
    is a fossil known as Amolongkha, and a footprint of Dalai Lama XIII.
    The gate is ornamented with Derge crafted metal-work and surrouned
    by murals depicting Maitreya (left), Je Yabsesum (above), and
    Dipamkara (right).
    ------ Entrance Hall ---------
    The outermost rooms of the portico including the Driza Zurphu Ngapa
    are empty, while the innermost chambers depict the wrathful pretector
    deities: yaksas (Nojinkhang), Shridevi and Mahakala on the N side;
    and benign naga kings (Lukhang) as well as the Othang Lake seal on
    the S side. These protectors are said to have appeared to Songtsen
    Gampo in a vision during the original construction of the Jokhang,
    and were charged with its protection.
    Kyilkhor Thil (Inner Hall)
    The 2-storey inner hall is divided into three sections - two with
    short columns (kawa thungthung) and one with long columns
    (kawa ringbo). Immediately beyond the entrance, there are two rows
    of short columns running N-S, the southernmost ones bearing tangkas
    of the Sixteen Elders. Then, in the centre of the hall, are six large
    statues: a 6m west-facing image of Padmasambhava (erected by
    Khyentse Rinpoche and consecrated by Minling Chung Rinpoche),
    a 4m N-facing image of Barzhi Jampa (commissioned by the Barzhi
    family), a 10m west-facing image of Thuwang Zangthama, a 8m N-facing
    image of Miwang Jampa (cast in 1736, its auras and jewels have been
    replaced), and at their centre a 4m Mahakarunika with a small
    Padmasambhava to its rear. The tallest columns (9 in 4 groups) which
    support the skylight are painted and date from the period of Gade
    Zangpo's restoration.
    An inner row of 12 short columns (kawa thung-thung) with six to each
    side of the Jowo Lhakhang, running S-N in front of the inner sanctum,
    probably dates from the 7th century. These are characterized by short
    bases and round shafts, suggesting an authentic Nepalese design.
    Five of them (three at the N end and two at the S end) were plastered
    probably in the 14th century for protection or reinforcement - by
    Gade Zangpo and his son. A cornice comprising 144 lion-faced figures
    also dates from the earliest phase, as do some of the interior
    Within the hall, there are various chapels which the pilgrim will
    pass through in a clockwise manner, as follows:
    ---------- West Wing ------------
    Je Rinpoche Dakpa Namgye Lhakhang
    This chapel contains a central image of Tsongkhapa, surrounded by
    his eight pure retainers, including Khedrubje and Gyeltsabje, who
    accompanied the master on his meditative retreats at Chokhorgyel and
    elsewhere. Outside the entrance, a monk inscribes with gold ink on
    red paper the names of deceased persons or petitioners, which are
    then burned as offerings.
    Amitabha Lhakhang
    Outside this chapel is the Tagpa Chorten, a stupa originally
    fashioned by Sakya Pandita in the 13th century, and containing
    certain relics of King Songtsen Gampo.
    ---------- North Wing ----------
    Menlha Desheg Gye Lhakhang: this chapel is dedicated to the Eight
    Medicine Buddhas. Outside is an earthen platform with an image of
    Mahakarunika Lhakhang
    Within the chain metal curtain of this chapel, the door of which
    appears to have an original frame, there is a restored image of the
    deity Mahakarunika. The original image, known as Thuje Chenpo
    Rangjung Ngaden, is said to have been imbued with the life-force of
    five beings (ngaden), namely: King Songtsen Gampo, his two foreign
    queens, and the gatekeeping deities Amritakundalin and Hayagriva.
    It also contained buddha relics from Bodh Gaya in India which had
    been brought to Tibet by Lodro Jungne an emanation of King
    Songtsen Gampo. That original image was severely damaged during the
    Cultural Revolution, and part of it smuggled to Dharamsala. One
    portion, however, is contained within the new replica. The image is
    one of the four in the Jokang with a gilded roof. The chapel also
    contains secondary images of: Khasarpani, Tara, Marici, Hayagriva,
    Lokeshvara, Bhrikuti, Prajnaparamita, and Amritakundalin.
    Jampa Truze Lhakhang
    The principal image is a seated Maitreya with an impressive aureole,
    and fronted by an old restored image of Manjughosa. On its left are
    images of Amitabha, White Tara, Vajrapani, Avalokiteshvara and
    Manjughosa. On its right is Tsongkhapa flanked by the reliquaries of
    Ngaripa Tsondu Nyingpo (who sculpted the chapels' original images)
    and Ngok Lekpei Sherab. In the centre of the chapel is a stone butter
    bowl, made by Tsongkhapa. Over the door is a replica of an original
    Mani Stone engraving (which was one of the Jokhang's most precious
    artefacts). The stone platform outside the door was once used by
    King Songtsen Gampo and his queens while bathing, and it is said that
    the actual clay of the Maitreya image within was mixed with bath
    water prior to its construction.
    Othang Gyatso Lhakhang
    This chapel contains a stone slab, which is said to give access to a
    subterranean lake below the Jokhang's foundation. Annual offerings
    were formerly made in this chapel by the Tibetan Government. Now it
    is mostly blocked-off by the Tsongkhapa Lhakhang.
    Tsongkhapa Lhakhang
    A covered elevated platform supports a small image of Tsongkhapa
    called Nangyen Ngadrama, which is flanked on the left by
    Sakya Choje Kunga Tashi and Buton Rinchendrub, and on the right by
    Asanga, Sonam Gyeltsen, Dorje Gyeltsen, and Karmpa III. The origianl
    central image is said to have been made in Tsongkhapa's lifetime,
    but there are other traditions attributing its miraculous
    construction to the protector deity Dharmaraja, or alternatively to
    a later Mongol emperor.
    --------- East Wing -------------
    Amitabha Lhakhang (Room where final obstacles are dispelled)
    The entrance to this chapel is guarded by Vajrapani and
    Ucchusmakrodha - the former could not be budged by Lhangdarma's
    henchemen, and the latter reputedly repelled a Chinese invasion
    following the death of Songtsen. Note the original sloping Newar
    door-frame with its unpainted patina. Inside is an image of Amitabha
    flanked on the left by Vajrapani and on the right by Hayagriva,
    while the Eight Bodhisattvas are on the side-walls. Outside the
    chamber to the S is a stone platform with images of Sontsen Gampo,
    his two foreign queens, and Guru Saroruhavajra (commissioned by
    Dalai Lama XIII). The platform originally supported images of the
    Four Guardian Kings, as sculpted by tripa Monalm Dorje, using clay
    from Samye. The fourth 'light-emanating' image of the Jokhang,
    Dolma Darlenma, was also once positioned in this chapel. The statue
    had received its name after reputedly requesting Sakya Pandita for
    an offering scarf.
    Jowo Lhakhang Foyer
    The highly polished wooden floor of the foyer is flanked by two pairs
    of guardian kings (with wrathful demeanour on the S side and smiling
    demeanour on the N side). The original guardians, now destroyed,
    were attributed either to Princess Wengcheng or Princess Jincheng.
    the elaborately decorated high ceilings display a marked Newar
    influence. An image of Padmasambhava, sculpted in the 18th century
    by Orgyan Drodul Lingpa, admonishes the naga spirits to stay away.
    Jowo Shakyamuni Lhakhang
    The inner sanctum, which is the largest and loftiest chapel of the
    Jokhang and one of four with a gilded roof, contains Tibet's most
    revered image - the 1.5m image of Jowo Rinpoche, representing the
    Buddha at the age of 12. This image was reputedly made of an alloy
    of precious metals mixed with jewels by Visvakarman in Kapalavastu,
    and in later times presented to China by the king of Magadha to
    commemeorate the defeat of the Yavanas. Subsequently it was brought
    to Tibet by Princess Wengcheng. One tradition recorded by Tucci
    states that the original was partially destroyed in 1717 by the
    Dzungars, the present image being stylistically later. Originally
    housed in the Ramoche temple, it was later brought to the Jokhang
    by Wengcheng on the death of Songtsen Gampo and interred in a chamber
    on the S side behind a painting of Manjughosa. Queen Jincheng
    subsequently recovered it and installed it as the central image of
    the Jokhang. Later it was buried in sand after Trisong's disloyal
    Bon ministers chose to return it to China and 300 men could not move
    it. During that period, the temple was converted to a slaughterhouse.
    Subsequently the image was once again buried in sand by Langdarma who
    had the gates of the Jokhang plastered with the picture of a monk
    drinking wine. The head-dress and ear-ornaments (na-gyen) originally
    date from time of Tsongkhapa (but have been replaced in recent times),
    and the pearl-studded robe from that of the Da Ming emperor. The image
    was conserved without damage during the Cultural Revolution, during
    which period the temple was utilized as a military barracks and its
    outer courtyard as a slaughthouse.
    Entering the inner sancutm, the pilgrim finds the main image seated
    upon a three-tiered stone platform; flanked by smaller images of
    Maitreya and Manjughosa. There are ornate silver-plated pillars with
    dragon motifs supporting an overhead canopy; and a silver sphere
    above the crown, which was donated by a Mongol Qan. Side-steps at the
    S and N sides grant access to the pilgrim, who can then make offerings
    directly to the image. Behind the Jowo Rinpoche image, there is a
    copper plaque with an inscription commemorating Anige's 13th century
    restoration of the throne back and the aureole. In front of the plaque
    is an E-facing image of Dipamkara Buddha called Acala, which stands
    back-to-back with Jowo Rinpoche, and is claimed to have onc been the
    central image. Facing the latter, at the back of the chapel is a 6m
    image of Thubpa Gangchentso, flanked by the Twelve Bodhisattvas,
    along with the gatekeepers Vajrapani and Hayagriva - all of which
    were sculpted by Zangkar Lotsawa. Other statues of the inner sanctum
    depict Dalai Lama VII, Dalai Lama XIII and Tsongkhapa.
    Outside the chapel to the S is a raised platform with images of Atisha
    flanked by Dromtonpa and Ngok Lekpei Sherab. Behind Dromtonpa is a
    mural depicting a 'speaking' form of Tara (Dolma Sungjonma).
    Jestun Jampa Gonpo Lhakhang
    This chapelwhich has an original 7th century Newar door-frame,
    contains as its main image Jampa Chokhor. This image is held to have
    been an emanation of King Krikin, which was brought to Tibet from
    Nepal as part of Princess Bhrikuti's dowry. The present statue is a
    replica but the finely carved aureole may be original. Flanking the
    main image are the Eight Taras Who Protect from Fear; with
    Avalokiteshvara in the form Chenrezi Semnyi Ngalso in front, and a
    replica of Princess Wengcheng's stove in the NW corner. The original
    Maitreya image formerly was the centrepiece of the second storey.
    Outside on a platform are image of Amitayus, Dolpopa Sherab Gyeltsen,
    and Four-armed Avalokiteshvara.
    Chenrezi Sengedradrok Lhakhang
    The main image here is of Amitabha, flanked by six emanations of
    Avalokiteshvara, of which the first left gives the chapel its name.
    Outside is a 1.5m stone column with a hole at the top, to which
    pilgrims press their ears in order to hear the sound of the mythical
    anga bird at the bottom of Othang Lake.
    --------- South Wing ---------
    Yungdrung Phuk
    In the SE corner beyond the stairs are two images of Padmasambhava
    and one of King Trisong Detsen, along with a painting of the Medicine
    Buddha, which is said to have been fashioned out of light rays
    emanating from Avalokiteshvara's heart.
    Janzik Lhakhang (closed)
    Outside are new murals depicting Songtsen Gampo and his two foreign
    queens with the ministers Gar and Tonmi. The original paintings had
    been commissioned by Monlam Dorje of Tsel Gungtang.
    Jampa Chezhi Lhakang
    This chapel, which is one of the four with a gilded roof, contains an
    image of Maitreya, which was brought from Drepung to replace the
    (now destroyed) silver Maitreya, which was traditionally escorted
    around the Barkhor on the 25th day of the first lunar month during
    the Jampa Dendren ceremony. Other statues contained within this
    chapel include: Manjughosa, Khasarpani, Mahakarunika, Vajrasattava,
    and Jambhala, as well as Lharje Gewabum, who is said to have built
    one of the Kyichu dykes. Behind the image of the protector Gek Tarje
    at the NE corner of the chape, and alongside a Padmasambhava image,
    is a 0.5m gilded goat's head, replacing a reputedly self-arising
    original. This depicts the legendary Queen of Goats (Dungtse Ra'si
    Gyelmo) who presided over the filling-in of the Othang Lake.
    Menlha Deshek Gye'i Lhakhang (Jowo Besai Lhakhang)
    This is the chapel in which the Jowo Rinpoche image was hidden by
    Princess Wengcheng within a cavity behind the buddha-image of the
    E wall. The main images depict Amitabha and the Eight Medicine
    Buddhas. The image of Manjughosa, known as Jampeyang Koyolma, which
    is depicted on the outer wall, is said to have spoken to Princess
    Jincheng, agreeing to move aside so that the staute could be
    extracted. West of the entrance are images of the Five Founders
    (Gongma Nga) of Sakya.
    Sangye Rabdun Lhakhang
    This chapel depicts the Seven Generations of Past Buddhas, one of
    which supposedly flew there from India.
    Tsepak Lhagu Lhakhang
    This chapel depicts the Nine Aspects of Amitayus, deity of longevity.
    Outside on the SW wall is a mural depicting Prajnaparamita, with a
    reputedly self-arising eye, which appeared when an old lady
    miraculously had her sight restored on praying to the image. Other
    murals in this alcove depict the Three Deities of Longevity
    (Tselha Namsum).
    -------- West Wing ----------
    Chogyel Tonmi Lhakhang
    In this royal chapel, King Songtsen Gampo is flanked (on the left) by:
    Gar, Bhrikuti, Nyatri Tsenpo, and Trisong Detsen; and (on the right)
    by: Relpachen, Lhatotori, Wengcheng, and Tonmi Sambhota. Formerly it
    also contained images of Mongza Tricham, Gungru Gungtsen, and Zhang
    Lonnyi. The room has original offering bowls and lamps. Outside are
    important murals depicting the foundation of the Jokhang and the
    events of Songtsen Gampo's reign, including the construction of the
    first Potala Palace.
    Gyurme Dorje
    Trade & Travel Publications Ltd. January 1996
    ISBN 0 900571 69 X
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