Barkhor Street More Bustling When Winter Comes to Tibet
As Tibet winter comes, tourists from home and abroad have gradually faded away, but Lhasa city is still as bustling as ever before. How does this happen? Actually, lots of Tibetan farmers, herdsmen and Buddhist believers use their winter time to make their pilgrimage to Lhasa and follow Barkhor circuit day and night.
Making pilgrimage to the holy Lhasa city
Lhasa is one of the most prestige Buddhist pilgrimage destinations in the world. Under the warm winter sunshine, snow mountains and blue sky make the holy city more splendid. Touring around Lhasa in winter, you'll come across devout pilgrims everywhere, especially at Barkhor pilgrim circuit. With prayer wheel spinning in hands, Buddhist followers usually dress in the most traditional clothes, carry food and luggage, bring the whole family altogether to do Barkhor kora, adding a strong religious flavor to the holy city.
A little Tibetan kid is taking the Barkhor kora with his grandma.
Barkhor Street, Lhasa's famous pilgrim circuit and commercial center, has well preserved the traditional appearance and living style of the ancient town.Originally, Barkhor street was just a single circumambulation passage around Jokhang Monastery and regarded as "holy road" by local Tibetans. Nowadays, it has already expanded into a large piece of old neighboring around Jokhang Temple. Barkhor Street, a roughly polygon ring road, consists of Barkhor East Street, Barkhor West Street, Barkhor North Street, Barkhor South Street. It has a length of about 1000 meters with many crossings inside. There are 35 ancient alleys, 4 neighborhood committees and 199 residential compounds.
Praying in front of Jokhang Monastery
Compared with Nangkhor Kora (the inner circle of Jokhang Monastery) and Lingkhor Kora (the outer circle around Lhasa), Barkhor Kora is the most important pilgrim circuit in Tibetans' minds. To commemorate Sakyamuni, Great Prayer Festival of Tibet would be celebrated from Jan.1st to Jan.25th in Tibetan calendar every year. Tens of thousands of Tibetan Monks and Buddhist followers would gather together at the square in front of Jokhang Temple and chant along Barkhor Street for God's blessings.
Prostrating on the Barkhor Street
Barkhor street is always crowded with people. Millions of sincere pilgrims prostrate themselves along Barkhor pilgrim circuit in a clockwise direction. No one knows how many circles they have completed. When the countless feet and foreheads touch the ground, the "Cha Cha" sound bursts out. This tough prostration to Buddha is the whole life connotation for the Buddhists.Day by day, month by month, year by year, their devotions have never changed a little. If you tour Tibet in winter, I bet, you must be moved by the solemn atmosphere and gain a kind of inner peace.