Ramoche is considered to be the sister temple to the Jokhang which was completed about the same time. Tradition says that it was built originally to house the much revered Jowo Rinpoche statue, carried to Lhasa via Lhagang in a wooden cart, brought to Tibet when Princess Wen Cheng came to Lhasa.
Unlike, the Jokhang, Ramoche was originally built in Chinese style. During Mangsong Mangtsen’s reign (649-676), because of a threat that the Tang Chinese might invade, Princess Wen Cheng is said to have had the statue of Jowo Rinpoche hidden in a secret chamber in the Jokhang. Princess Jincheng, sometime after 710 CE, had it placed in the central chapel of the Jokhang. It was replaced at Ramoche by a statue of Jowo Mikyo Dorje, a small bronze statue of the Buddha when he was eight years old, crafted by Vishvakarman, and brought to Lhasa by the Nepalese queen, Bhrikuti. It is said to have been badly damaged by the Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution.