Jokhang temple was built in the year 647 by Songsten Gampo, and is a large temple built in the flatland style. Combining a number of architectural styles, Tibetan, Nepalese and Han influences are visible in the construction. Though the original temple was fairly small, extensive reconstruction and renovation took place during the reign of the fifth Dali Lama.
There are a number of cultural and religious treasures housed in the temple, the most important of which is a sculpture of Jowo Sakyamuni as a child. The main hall of the temple houses murals depicting stories from Tibetan history. The ceremonies for initiation into lamahood for the Dalai Lama and Panchen Lama are preformed here.