Sep 17, 2015

Spellbound at the Yonghegong Lama Temple.....


Yours truly planned to visit this particular temple not because it is a temple but, well being a romantic airhead, someone with her head in the clouds with all the romanticized imperial stories of imperial China, I so wanted to see the place Prince Yinzhen, 4th prince of the Emperor Kangxi once lived in before he became Emperor Yongzheng  himself...... 



Blame it on stories like Scarlet Heart / Bubu Jinxin.... LOL


Anyway this gorgeous building was said to be originally built as a residence for court eunuchs before becoming the residence of Yinzhen (later Emperor Yongzheng) in 1694, and hence took the name Yonghegong.
In the year 1744, this majestic  residence became a lamasery. This resplendent building is endowed with the style of an imperial palace, making it distinctive from others. It occupies an area of 66,400 square meters (16 acres) and is described as a mini-palace with yellow glazed tiles on the roof and red walls circling the group of buildings.
 After his death, Yongzheng’s coffin was interred here, and the building was  turned over entirely to religious use. 



When you step foot into the entrance after paying for the entrance which cost you about RMB25, you will be greeted by a beautiful green shady walkway ....


Because of ancient imperial type architecture, every element of the temple is entirely symmetrical, with main halls on a north-south axis and wing halls on both sides. It comprises of a courtyard in the south and five main halls in separate courtyards in the north: the Hall of the Heavenly Kings, the Hall of Harmony and Peace, the Hall of Everlasting Blessings, the Hall of the Dharma Wheel and the Pavilion of Infinite Happiness.

 It is said that this gorgeous temple combines various architectural styles of the Han, the Manchu, the Mongolian and the Tibetan.


There is of course the quintessential pair of Chinese lions mingle with scents of incense here as well....


The red walls and stone lions, some  symbols which signifies that this building was originally the dwelling of an Imperial Family member...



What to see which I did not quite see as I was more interested in the architecture and exterior of the temple and also wanted to be polite and respectful since it is a temple, and my daughter and I are just visiting Muslims, so we just looked around outside......

However you can check out the amazing statues there are inside if you feel inclined to...

The Hall of the Heavenly Kings is the southernmost of the main halls, it served originally as the main entrance to the monastery. In the center of the hall stands a statue of the Maitreya Buddha, along the walls statues of the four Heavenly Kings are arranged.
Picture credit to curiouscatontherun.wordpress.com and is not mine
The Hall of Harmony and Peace is the main building of the temple. It houses three bronze statues of the Buddhas of the Three Ages, the statue of the Gautama Buddha (Buddha of the Present) is in the center, it is flanked by the statue of Kasyapa Matanga (Buddha of the Past, right) and the Maitreya Buddha (Buddha of the Future, left). Along the sides of the hall, the statues of the 18Arhats are placed. A mural in the hall shows the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara.
The Hall of Everlasting Protection was Emperor Yongzheng's living quarters as a prince and the place where his coffin was placed after his death. Today, a statue of the Bhaisajya-guru (healing Buddha) stands in this hall.
The Hall of the Wheel of the Law functions as a place for reading scriptures and conducting religious ceremonies. It contains a large statue of Je Tsongkhapa, founder of the Geluk School. The hall also contains the Five-Hundred-Arhat-Hill, a carving made of red sandalwood with statues of the arhats made from five different metals (gold, silver, copper, iron, and tin). (derived and taken from wikipedia)
Call me silly, but well, there were quite a numner of devotees and worshipers there and  so my daughter and I just did not want to get in the way or cause any discomfort, so I decided to just keep my distance...Besides, there were signages that no photography was allowed inside the temples....



Pavilion of Infinite Happiness: The Pavilion of Infinite Happiness, the last main hall, is also the highest hall of this temple. It is a three-storey building, accompanied by two smaller pavilions. In the main hall, a huge statue of Maitreya is positioned which the seventh Dalai  Lama bought from Nepal and took a great 3 years to finally get it presented to the Emperor Qianlong, the son of Emperor Yongzheng.

Picture taken from beijing.english.china.org.cn

 The entire statue which is carved from a rare white sandal tree is 26 meters (85 feet) in height and eight meters (26 feet) in diameter, with eight meters (26 feet) buried under the ground. A niche for Buddha in the assistant hall is another excellent woodcarving which is carved with ninety-nine lifelike dragons.


Both my daughter and I enjoyed our visit there. It is certainly a glorious place as befitting an imperial prince....


Subway Line 2 or 5: get off at Yonghegong Station, get out of the station from Exit C (Southwest Exit), and walk south about 400 meters, then you'll find it on the east side of the road.



31 comments:

  1. What an amazing opportunity and adventure! I would love to go to The Hall of Harmony and Peace. I love the Chinese architecture, the colors, and how regal everything is.

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    1. me too... I love historical sites.... that is what that makes me head there

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  2. Never been to these places. RMB25 entrance fee is reasonable as beautiful temples need lotta maintenance.
    Hope I have the chance visit the above places myself someday. :)

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    1. definitely will... if you want to... heheh

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  3. wow nice place to visit. Shall mark this down for future trips. Let me know of your next trip. :D

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    1. my next trip??? Hopefully Korea... need to learn from Korean experts... like Aliza etc...

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  4. Temple is never my thing. But i love the architecture :) so picture worthy

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    1. this was interesting to me because it was an old palace.....

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  5. You really know more China history than me. Time for me to plan my trip to China and understand more of the history where my grandparents came from.

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  6. Such a great temple!~ Such a nice trip to China!

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  7. The entrance fees is reasonable. But how long you take to visit the whole temple?

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    1. i do a hit and run thingie because of my tight schedule. so I only spent about an hour here...

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  8. DIdnt get the chance to visit this temple while i was there T.T Glad you shared this. More reasons to go back :D hehe

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    1. and.. I on the other hand need more tips and tricks from you on how to visit Korea/ Seoul on a shoe string budget

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  9. The place is so nice. I think this journey must be a good journey to you.

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  10. Wow! What a lovely place you've been to. So jealous u get to travel and enjoy life with your daughter ^^

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    1. We have to make time for ourselves and try to do the things we want to do.....

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  11. The architecture there is really nice. I will try to travel to this temple whenever i have chance. Thanks for the sharing and hope that i have chance to travel there in near future!

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  12. What a beautiful temple to explore, Would love to visit!

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    1. You should... it was the home of Emperor Yong Zheng before he became Emperor...

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  13. wAhhhh the temple so nice!! I need to visit a little part of China soon. The country is too big...haha

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    1. I know right... I want to see XiAn one fine day too

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  14. If we live in era of dystany China, we are princess, who have to walk so far cuz each palaca are very big! Easy lost he he.It looks as peaceful in the old era cuz the citizens & outsiders not allowed to foot in as they can get punishment during old dystany.

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  15. If we live in era of dystany China, we are princess, who have to walk so far cuz each palaca are very big! Easy lost he he.It looks as peaceful in the old era cuz the citizens & outsiders not allowed to foot in as they can get punishment during old dystany.

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    1. Yup... we might live peaceful lives... or our lives can be in turmoil and always get into trouble... hahha

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  16. Great place! You are lucky to be able to go there Miera. Saya masih mengumpul duit hahaha

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    1. Slowly kumpul... dan lepas tu cepat pergi la... I mengumpul duit ke Korea... hopefully...

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