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Barkhor Street

Barkhor Street is the oldest street in a very traditional city in Tibet. It is a circular street around the Jokhang Temple in the center of the old section of Lhasa. The street is a place where Tibetan culture, economy, religion and arts assemble.

Jokhang Temple was built by Nepal princess Tritsun, the wife of he first Tibetan King (617 - 650) who unified Tibet, Songtsen Gampo, to accommodate the twelve-year-old Jowo Sakyamuni, brought to Tibet by Princess Wencheng, who married Songtsen Gampo in the seventh century. Barkhor is the road by which pilgrims visited Jokhang Temple throughout the centuries. Buddhist pilgrims walk or prostrate themselves and progress by body-lengths along the street clockwise every day into the deep night. Most of Lhasa's floating population is comprised of these pilgrims.

Barkhor Street is is also a marketplace where street traders, hawkers and market sellers fill the pavements around the Barkhor area. 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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