Pargor Subdistrict

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(Redirected from Barkhor)

An aerial view of the Barkhor
Barkhor Square and Jokhang Temple
Old Barkhor street (1993)
Barkhor street scene, Lhasa. (1993)

The Pargor Subdistrict, traditionally known as the Barkhor (Tibetan: བར་སྐོར་, Wylie: bar-skor, ZYPY: Pargor; Chinese: 八廓; pinyin: bākuò), is an area of narrow streets and a public square located around Jokhang Temple in Lhasa, Tibet, China.

The Barkhor is a popular devotional circumambulation for pilgrims and locals. The walk is about a kilometre long and encircles the entire Jokhang Temple, the former seat of the State Oracle in Lhasa called the Muru Nyingba Monastery, and a number of former nobles' houses including Tromzikhang and Jamkhang. There are four large incense burners (sangkangs) in the four cardinal directions, with incense burning constantly, to please the gods protecting the Jokhang.[1] The Tromzikhang market is busy in the Barkhor, and the area is a major tourist attraction.

Because the Jokhang Temple has been a symbolic centre of Tibetan protests since 1987, the Barkhor has also seen many demonstrations. When the 14th Dalai Lama won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989, many of his supporters threw tsampa around the Barkhor to celebrate. After the central government denounced the prize, residents who continued such demonstrations were arrested.[2] The square was briefly closed by riot police during the 2008 Lhasa protests.[3]


  1. ^ Dowman, Keith (1998). The Power-Places of Central Tibet: The Pilgrim's Guide, pp. 40-41. Routledge & Kegan Paul, London and New York. ISBN 0-7102-1370-0.
  2. ^ Harris, Ian (2001). Buddhism and Politics in Twentieth-Century Asia. Continuum International Publishing Group. pp. 236–237.
  3. ^ Philip, Bruno (19 March 2008). "Trashing the Beijing road". The Economist. Archived from the original on 4 February 2010. Retrieved 3 February 2010.

Coordinates: 29°39′1.17″N 91°7′59.31″E / 29.6503250°N 91.1331417°E / 29.6503250; 91.1331417