Beijing Yonghe Lamasery

Beijing Yonghe Lamasery – The Peace Within

Beijing Yonghe Lamasery – Temples, temples, temples everywhere!

There are seriously too many temples to visit in Beijing. And worst of all, every foreign clients/ friends of mine will ask me to accompany them to all of them.

Beijing Yonghe Lamasery
Beijing Yonghe Lamasery

However, there is one temple that I do not mind going and it’s Beijing Yonghe Lamasery. I don’t know … I just feel peaceful being there and I am not a Tibetan Buddhist.

Beijing Yonghe Lamasery – Yong He Gong

And to many who have visited the temple, they feel the same way.

Let’s meditate with me…

The Yonghe Lamasery is also known as the “Palace of Peace and Harmony Lama Temple”. And it’s fast becoming one of the most-visited places fortourists in Beijing. It seems that more and more foreigners are getting into Tibetan Buddhism.

Even Richard Gere!

In essence, Beijing Yonghe Lamasery is a temple and monastery of the Geluk School of Tibetan Buddhism and it’s located in the northeastern part of Beijing, China.

This is also why you will see many Tibetan Buddhist monks with their distinctive yellow hats running about the place. So, don’t mistaken them for actors in a new ShaoLin Monk Kung Fu Movie!

Lama Temple was originally built in 1694 and was used as an official residence for the court Eunuchs of the Ming Dynasty.

What a coincidence – both the Eunuchs and the Monks have to stay celibate and stay clear away from women!

No disrespect to anyone. Just an observation.

It was later converted into the Royal Court of Prince YongZheng, a son of Emperor KangXi of the Qing Dynasty. Before the prince ascended the throne in 1693 of KangXi’s reign of the Qing Dynasty, it was renamed as Yonghegong.

Yonghe Lamasery
Yonghe Lamasery

In 1723 Prince YongZheng became the Emperor and in 1744, the status of the building was changed to that of a lamasery.

The Yonghe Lamasery then became the national centre of Lama administration.

Beijing Yonghe Lamasery – Yong He Gong

Yonghe Lamasery is one of the largest and most important Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the world. The building and the artworks of the temple combine Han Chinese and Tibetan styles.

The temple consists of endless courtyards and halls. Each hall is highly decorative and very well restored. And there are many beautifully carved ancient Buddha statues in all the five halls.

In each courtyard, just before the entrance to a hall, there are many beautifully carved incense burners.

In addition, there is another feature of most lamaseries and that’s the use of luminous yellow tiles for the roofs of the halls. It is so distinct and does make the temple very vibrant. This was probably the brightest of the temples I visited in China.

However, the most impressive feature and probably what most non-believers/tourists are here for is to see the 80-feet high Maitreya Buddha made from a single piece of sandalwood

Beijing Yonghe Lamasery – Yong He Gong

Yes! Just a single piece of sandalwood!

It’s so unique that it has already been recorded inside the Guinness Book of World Record!

Yonghe Lamasery1
Yonghe Lamasery1

Sorry, no picture here as no photography is allowed.

As a non-believer, I did not spend any time praying though I have to wait for my friends. I would say an hour’s visit will do OK. It’s peaceful but honestly, besides admiring the architecture, there’s nothing much you can do in a Lamasery.

Where’s the Lamasery?

Location: 12 Yong He Gong Avenue.

You can take buses 13, 62, 116, 117 or take the subway and alight at Yonghegong (Lama Temple) Station (very easy to remember where to alight)

Opening Time: The Lama Temple is opendaily from 9am to 4pm.

Admission: 25 RMB.

Tel: +86 (0)10 6404 4499

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