When you are traveling to Beijing the Lama Temple is not the first place that comes to your mind, there are other more famous and more popular places to go during your Beijing Tour, but if you have a free morning or a free afternoon and you want to see the most astonishing Buddhist temple in Beijing make sure that you don’t miss it!

The Lama temple is the occidental word for the Yonghe Temple, a temple situated in the north-west of Beijing, originally was created as a residence for the court eunuchs but in the year 1722 half of the building was transformed into a lamasery, its popularity raised spectacularly during the following centuries and it became one of the national center of lama administration.

The temple is organized in five main halls and each hall has different attractive on each own so make sure you don’t miss any of them!

  1. The Hall of the Heavenly Kings (Tian Wang Dianor Devaraja), it is the first hall you will find; there are the statues of the Maitreya Buddha (the future Buddha) and the statues of the four heavenly kings in the Buddhist mythology.
  2. The second is Hall of Harmony and Peace (Yonghegong), in this hall there are some of the most precious statues of the temple, the bronze statues of the Buddha of the three ages, The Gautama (present) Kasyapa (past) and the Maitreya (future), in this hall there are also the statues of some Arhats, the Buddhist equivalent of the saints.
  3. The hall of everlasting protection (Youngyoudian) this was the hall where an ancient emperor coffin was placed, but now there is a statue of the healing Buddha who has the mission of healing the suffering.
  4. The Hall of the Wheel of the Law (Falundian), it’s the place where all ceremonies take part, there is the statue of Je Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Geluk school and also the 500 arhat hill, a carved sandalwood hill and statues of the 500 Arhats made of  different metals such as; gold, silver, copper, iron and tin.
  5.  The Pavilion of Ten Thousand Happinesses (Wanfuge), this is the last and the most espectaular hall of the temple for only one reason, it contains a Buddha statue made of a single block of sandalwood that is in the Guiness book of records since 1993.

There are a lot of reasons to visit the Lama temple and its surroundings for there are some of the most typical Hútòng (ancient streets) surrounding the lama temple where you can eat some typical food, buy Buddhist accessories like bracelets or necklaces, or also statues and incense sticks to burn in the halls of the temple.

The lama temple is one of the most beautiful and astonishing places of Beijing, so if you plan to travel to Beijing you have to try to find some time to go there and marvel in front of the magnificent Buddha statues and, maybe, learn more about the Buddhist mythology.

Jack Li
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