Barkhor Street

Barkhor Street

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Introduction

The Tibet Autonomous Region has renovated Barkhor Street, a bustling religious, tourist and commercial centre in Lhasa, to transform it into a historical site. The renovation project cost 37.6 million Chinese Yuan.
Barkhor Street, located at the foot of the incense-coiling Jokhang Monastery in Lhasa, is renowned as Tibet’s largest market place. With a history of more than 1,300 years, the street has been prospering upon the completion of the monastery in central Lhasa in 647. In the Barkhor Street, an inch of land is an inch of gold. Vendors from various parts of China and bordering countries have changed the street into an international market. The street was built in the 7th century when the Tibetan King Songtsen Gampo decided to construct the monastery. To supervise the project, he brought his servants and family and settled down on the spot. People then built houses on the four sides for Songtsen Gampo and his servants.
Around Jokhang Temple, it is Barkhor which is a place where Tibetan culture, economy, religion and arts assemble. Barkhor is the road which pilgrims trampled
out through centuries. Buddhist pilgrims walk or progress by body lengths along the street clockwise every day into deep night. To the west of the north street of Barkhor, in front of a juniper hearth, the annual ceremony to hail Maitreya (Buddha of the Future) is held. Barkhor, the sacred pilgrim path, is also a marketplace where shaggy nomads, traders, robed monks and chanting pilgrims join together. Clustered shops and stalls sell printed scriptures, cloth prayer flags and other religious vessels, jewelry, Tibetan knives, ancient coins and other Tibetan relics.
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