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Yonghe Lama Temple

Yonghe Lama Temple, which is the largest and most perfectly preserved Lama temple in Han China.

Built initially in 1694 during the Qing Dynasty, Yonghe Lama Temple was the residence of Emperor Yongzheng when he was just a prince.
Lama TempleHowever, in 1744 the Qing Dynasty formally changed the status of the dwelling to that of a lamasery, and so
Yonghe Lamasery became the national centre of Lama administration.

The temple complex has a typical Chinese Buddhist temple layout of three courtyard structures. The front
structural layout in the temple is bright and spacious dotted with screen walls with carved murals, lifeless
things and decorated archways. The interior pavement leading to the main halls and the evergreen pine
and cypress appear to be rather peaceful and secluded in the environment. The back structural layout is
composed of a cluster of building, halls and pavilions intermingled with each other, and upturned eaves
and ridges beautifully interwoven presenting a picturesque sight.

The main buildings are arranged on a north-south axis including Hall of the Heavenly Kings, Hall of
Harmony and Peace, Hall of the Wheel of the Law and Pavilion of Ten Thousand Happiness. A variety of
associated buildings on each side of the axis house study rooms and monks’ dormitories.

Yonghe Lama TempleThe whole architecture features a blending of Han,
Manchu, Mongolian and Tibetan Buddhist styles, and over

the entrance gate of each main hall hangs a plaque with the name of the hall with inscriptions in
Tibetan, Mongolian and Chinese languages.

Inside the building are superb examples of carving and carpentry. Sculptures are made from all
kinds of weird and wonderful materials including gold, silver, copper, iron and tin.

A collection of various Buddha and Arhat statues are enshrined in the temple. In the Hall of the
Boundless Happiness, stands a famous huge statue of Buddha, 26 meters high carved out of a
whole piece of sandalwood; it is the biggest wood-carving Buddha in the world.


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