The Lama Temple (Yong He Gong) Tours – Beijing, China
The Lama Temple (Yong He Gong)
About this place
Yonghegong (‘Palace of Eternal Harmony’) is a Tibetan Buddhist temple belonging to the Yellow Hat sect of Lamaism. The temple, which was built in 1694, is one of the most well-known Tibetan Buddhist temples in China (outside of Tibet itself). Before being converted to a temple, it served as a palace for the son of Emperor Kangxi until he ascended the throne. The monastery was closed during the Cultural Revolution and many of the monks were sent away to work as labourers in rural areas. It reopened in the early 80s. Although the living quarters of approximately 70 monks at the monastery are not open to the public, you are likely to catch a glimpse of some of them wandering around the halls or courtyards.
The monastery has five halls, or pavilions, which are connected by five interleading courtyards, each of which houses a statue of the Buddha as well as a treasury of Buddhist art and statues. The smell of incense pervades and a trail of incense smoke lingers, as the courtyards have large incense burners where worshippers can be seen offering incense sticks.
The Pavilion of Ten Thousand Fortunes, the final hall located at the rear of the monastery, houses a 25 metre high upright Buddha statue which is carved from a single piece of Tibetan sandalwood. Despite its size, this giant Buddha in no way feels imposing, and is instead friendly and welcoming. It is truly a spectacular sight.
It is not permitted to take photographs in many of the halls.
Link: The Confucius Temple is just a 5 minute walk from Yonghegong.
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