Photographer's Note

Decoration on the roof of the Jokhang temple in Lhasa, Tibet
Buddhism became wide spread in Tibet mainly because of Jokhang Temple. The temple, which means ‘House of Buddha ”, House of the Lord” , is the main house of Gelugpa or Yellow branch of Buddhism. It is situated in the Barkhor Square at the centre of Lhasa and covers an area of about 25,100 square kilometers. The Temple that has four floors with gilded roof is a fine example of Tibetan, Nepalese and Chinese architecture styles and is very rich in art works; for e.g. intricate patterns of bells, birds, beasts etc. Jokhang Temple was founded in 647 by King Songtsen Gampo (r.617-49), the first ruler of a unified Tibet, and his two foreign wives who are credited with bringing Buddhism to Tibet. The temple was constructed to house a sacred image of the Buddha, the Jowo Rinpoche, which Queen Wengcheng brought with her from China as a dowry. This statue is still enshrined within the temple and is the holiest object in Tibet. Standing four stories tall and covering an area of about 25,000 square meters in the heart of Lhasa, Jokhang Temple combines local Tibetan elements with influences from Nepal, China and India.The exterior of the temple is decorated with deer and wheel motifs, early symbols of Buddhism. Both represent the Buddha's first sermon, in which he "turned the wheel of the Dharma" in a deer park near Varanasi, India

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