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Yonghegong Lama Temple

Yonghegong Lama Temple

The Yonghe Lama Temple lies in the northeast of Beijing City. It was built in 1694 by Emperor Kangxi for his son Yongqin. It was originally called the Yongqin Mansion. In 1744, Emperor Qianlong renamed it as a Lama Temple for officials to deal with affairs of state and for Tibetan Buddhist monks. Although almost half of it remains a palace, it is the largest Buddhist temple in China.

After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, this temple has been given special attention. The Yonghe Lama Temple has become the national center of Lama Administration. In 1961, it was inscribed as one of the key units of precious cultural sites under state protection. It was officially open to tourists in 1981. Since then, the Yonghe Lama Temple receives about 2 million visitors each year.

The Yonghe Lama Temple consists of five halls: Tian Wang Hall (the Hall of the Heavenly Kings), Yonghe Hall (the Hall of Harmony and Peace), Yongyou Hall (the Hall of Everlasting Protection), Falun Hall (the Hall of the Wheel of the Law), and Wanfu Pavilion (Ten-Thousand Happiness).

There are many famous cultural items in the Lama Temple, such as carved wood, bronze status of Buddhas, and of Xumi Hill, the golden “Eighteen Disciples of the Buddha”, and six maps of transmigration of the soul, plus the centuries-old locust trees. People can appreciate Buddhist culture here.