During your china travel, there will be lots of temples to visit and there is no doubt that you wouldn’t come across any temples during your sightseeing trip. So why not take your time from other sightseeing places and take a visit to the White Cloud Temple in Beijing. You could arrange a tour from any of the Beijing Tours company to check out this place as this Temple has full of historical story about Beijing and the architecture of the place is just beautiful.

Entrance of White Cloud Temple

The White Cloud Temple is a Daoist temple that is located in Beijing, China. It is one of the “Three Great Ancestral Courts” of the Complete Perfection School of Taoism, and it is titled “The First Temple under Heaven”.

There are lots to see during your visit to the White Cloud Temple and the layout of the place is very spectacular and well thought of. The Temple itself is very beautiful as well so it is no surprise that there are always a lot of visitors visiting this Temple. Like most other Chinese temples, the While Cloud Temple is laid out on a north-south axis, with the entrance at the south end. There are four main halls built upon the main axis and from the beginning with the main gate lies the Yuhuang Hall, Laolu Hall, Qiuzu Hall and finally the Sanqing Hall. On either side of the main axis are two smaller axes, each containing halls dedicated to a variety of deities. Also, in the rear of the complex is a garden which hosts the abbeys ordination platform.

Images of the Temple

The White Cloud Temple was first founded in the mid-8th century during the Tang Dynasty, and it was initially called Tianchang Abbey (Abbey of Celestial Perpetuity). During this period, the abbey was state sponsored and staffed by an elite clergy. From 1125-1215 when what is now in Beijing was controlled by the Jin Dynasty, the abbey served as the Daoist administrative headquarters and played an important role in state religious cults. It was then in 1148 that the abbey was taken over by the Quanzhen patriarch Qiu Chuji. But then during the 20th century, the abbey was without an abbot for the 1940’s, and was closed when the communists came to power in 1949. Unlike many other historical sites which were damaged during the Cultural Revolution, Baiyun Abbey was well-protected and remained safe. Today, the White Cloud Temple is again a fully-functioning temple and is the seat of the Chinese Taoist Association.

Visitors Praying outside Temple

This temple also hosts festivals every year. On the 19th day of the first lunar month of every year, a festival is held at the abbey in celebration of Qiu Chuji’s Birthday. It was thought that Qiu would return on earth as an immortal on this day. The festival was first held during the Yuan Dynasty, but was then suspended after the People’s Republic was established in 1949. The temple was revived in the 1990’s, and continues to be held to this day.

Brief description of the 4 halls in the White Temple:

Yuhuang Hall which was first built in 1661 and it was then rebuilt in 1788. It has three bays long with a gabled roof. And is flanked by drum and bell towers.

Laolu Hall which has the same design as the Yuhuang Hall and was first built in 1456. The monastic community holds a twice-daily office in Laolu Hall and it is where ordination certificates are issued.

Quizu Hall was originally built to enshrine Qiu Chuji and this hall was first built in 1228. It is three bays long with a front gallery.

Sanqing Hall was built in 1428. It is a two-story, five bay structure with a gabled roof as well that contains statues of the Three Pure Ones on the top floor and the Four Celestial Aides on the bottom floor.

So book your Beijing Flights now and come and visit this amazing Temple!

Jack Li

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