Ramoche Temple is the sister temple to Jokhang Temple, constructed around the same time but in Chinese style. It was built to house the Jowo Sakyamuni image, brought to Tibet in the 7th century as part of the dowry of King Songtsen Gampo’s Nepali wife, Princess Bhrikuti. By the mid-15th century Ramoche Temple had become Lhasa’s Upper Tantric Colleage.

As you enter Ramoche Temple, past pilgrims doing full-body prostrations and the first of two inner koras, you’ll see a protector chapel to the left, featuring masks and puppets on the ancient pillars and an encased image of the divination deity Dorje Yudronma covered in beads on a horse. The main chapel is full of fearsome protector deities in yabyum pose, as befitting a Tantric temple.

The dabulously ornate Nikyoba (Akshobhya) image can be seen in the inner Tsangkhang, protected by the four guardian kings and a curtain of chain mail, which pilgrims rub fr good luck. The image represents Sakyamuni at the age of eight. The lower half of the statue was discovered in 1983 in a Lhasa rubbish tip and the head was discovered in Beijing’s Forbidden City and brought back to Lhasa by the 10th Pachen Lama.

As you exit Ramoche Temple, look for a doorway just to the right by a collection of yak-butter and incense stalls, leading to a delightful chapel, the Tsepak Lhakhang. The central image is Tsepame, flanked by Jampa and Sakyamuni. There are smaller statues of Dorje Chang (Vajradhara) and Marmedze (Dipamkara), and a protector chapel next door. This hidden corner is very popular with pilgrims.

Now Ramoche Temple is the key national cultural relic protection sites in Tibet. When you visit the temple, you are not allowed to take photos and shoot.

Lhasa

Visiting Sera Monastery is the highlight of this 5-day private tour. Before watching the brilliant sutra – debate, you can visit the Sera Utsé Hermitage which is located on the top of the back hill of the monastery, where you can have a bird's-eye view of the entire Lhasa city.

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