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Lingkhor

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Lingkhor

The path led past the Potala to a pond

The Lingkhor (Chinese: 外廓) is a sacred path, the most common name of the outer pilgrim circumambulation path in Lhasa, matching its inner twin, the Barkhor. In its heyday, the Lingkhor was about 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) long, enclosing Old Lhasa, the Potala and Chokpori Hill. In former times, it was crowded with men and women circumambulating clock-wise, sometimes by means of full-body prostrations. Pilgrims often approached the holy city for the first time by this route which passed through willow-shaded parks where Tibetans used to picnic in summer and watch open-air operas on festival days.

Beginning in the 1980s, Lhasa's urban sprawl and reconstruction have obliterated much of the Lingkhor, but one relatively pristine stretch still remains west of Chokpori Hill; here, a bridge about 1 km west of the Potala Palace on the main road with green buildings beyond is the landmark. The Lingkhor stretches left before the bridge between walls and willow trees. After making a turn to the right, it peters out at a duck pond. Open-air Tibetan operas are still performed within earshot of the pond on festival days, one of which falls in June each year.

Sources

  • Passport Books:Tibet -Shanggri-la-Press 1986


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