The Jokhang is the "spiritual heart" of Lhasa and the supreme sanctuary of Tibetan Buddhism. After Songtsen Gampo established the Tibetan Kingdom, the dynasty prospered. Then, there were marriages of state between him and Princess Wencheng of the Tang dynasty and Princess Bhrikuti Devi of Licchavi. It is said that the Jokhang is dedicated to the several Buddha statues brought by the two princesses from their homelands.
Princess Wencheng brought an image of 12-year-old Shakyamuni Buddha and Princess Bhrikuti brought a wooden Buddha statue. The two statues are still being worshipped in the Jokhang. According to Buddhist legends, when Songtsen Gampo died, his soul became a beam of light and entered the wooden statue.
During the Cultural Revolution, the Jokhang could not escape from destruction. Many Buddha statues were destroyed. The temple even became a pig slaughterhouse. It was highly disrespectful as Tibetan Buddhism strictly prohibits monks and nuns from slaughtering for satisfying their desire for meat.
Tibetans were allowed for worshipping the Jokhang after the Cultural Revolution. The temple has been reconstructed for multiple times and is now a must-visit attraction in Tibet.