The Lama Temple Beijing, also known as ‘Yonghe Gong’. The temple is located in northern Beijing and is considered as a sacred shrine after the Temple of Heaven. The shrine is worth to visit, and holy religious site. The temple is structured in 17th century architecture with the active Tibetan Buddhist center. While, the Buddhist center is sponsored by the government.
History of the Lama Temple, Beijing
In the year 1694, the shrine ‘Yong He Gong’ was built as a Residential Palace. The Residential Palace was built for Prince Yin Zhen, then in 1723, when Prince became Emperor Yong Zheng and moved to the Forbidden City, the building was titled as imperial yellow and was converted in to temple for usual ceremonies.
The site then became lamasery in the year 1744. The site housed Buddhist monks from Inner Mongolia and Tibet. There was also an election held in temple to elect ‘Living Buddha’. The Living Buddha is chosen by lot from a gold urn.
Then after the year 1949, when the Civil War was ended, the temple was declared as a National Monument. The Temple escaped the damage remarkably during Cultural Revolution. The shrine, then remained closed for around 30-years which was then reopened as a tourist attraction.
Presently, the shrine is active as ‘Tibetan Buddhist Center’ and is governed and sponsored by the Government of China. The site demonstrates the ethics to respect the religious freedom of minorities. It was in year 1995, the Panchen Lama was chosen by government, just before ‘Dalai Lama’s’ own choice of position. Today the place is considered as a ‘place of worship’ as several Chinese devotees of Tibetan Buddhism visit this place.
What to See?
On visiting any place, ‘What to see?’ is the first question that troubles one’s mind. But having a thick research of the place is essential. The Yonghe Gong is an attractive compound with large buildings topped with yellow ornate roof tiled. The main gate of the shrine dates from 1696 and has several statues of celestial guardians. Inside the temple is beautiful incense burner, courtyards, prayer hall, it also includes second courtyard which dates back to 1746.
The Falun Dian is also known as Hall of the Wheel of Law, is considered as one of the major buildings. It consist of 20-feet of bronze statue and Tsongkapa paintings of the founder of Yellow Hat sect Tibetian Buddhism. With a pointed cap and long earflaps, he can be easily recognised. The throne next to the statue is of Dalai Lama, when he visited this place!
Wanfu Ge is also known as a Tower of Ten Thousand Happiness is a house of prize possession. It has a huge Tibetan style statue of Maitreya which is 60-feet tall. It is a gift for Emperor Qianlong from 7th Dalai Lama. It is carved out from single piece of white sandalwood, which too 3-years to shep the material to Beijing.
Today, it is considered as one of the sacred temples and monastery of the Gelug School of Tibetan Buddhism built in complete Chinese architecture.