Yonghe Temple | 雍和宫
Yonghe Temple， also known as the Lama Temple, is a monastery of the Gelug school of Tibetan Buddhism. The building and artwork of the temple is a combination style of Chinese Han People and Tibetan
Yonghe Temple was built from 1694 in Qing Dynasty, and originally served as an official residence for court eunuchs; then it was converted into the residence of Yin-Zhen (Prince Yong), the 4thson of Kangxi Emperor. After 1722 when Prince Yong became Yong Zheng Emperor, half remained an imperial palace, the other half of the Yonghe Temple was converted into a tibetan religion monastery.
In 1735, the successor of Yong Zheng Emperor was Qian Long Emperor, who gave the temple imperial status signified by having its turquoise tiles replaced with yellow tiles which were reserved for the emperor. Gradullay, more and more tibetan lamas and monks from Mongolia gathering and making this the largest tibetan buddhism monastery in the east China.
After 1949, Yonghe Temple was declared of being a national monument and closed for the cotinually following 32 years. In 1981, Yonghe Temple began to be open to the public,from that time on, it is a both functioning temple and well-known tourist attraction of Beijing/
Yonghe Temple is with shape of rectangle, and to be built along an axis that goes from north to south with length of 480 meters long. The main entrance gate is at its southern end. There are five major halls that were built along the axis:
- Hall of the Heavenly Kings (Tian Wang Dian | 天王殿) : In the center of the hall stands a statue of the Maitreya Buddha,and another four Heavenly Kings are arranged on the two sides of Maitreya Buddha.It is on the south end
- Assembly Hall （大雄宝殿） : It is the main building of the temple and housing three bronze statues of the Three Age Buddhas. The middle one is the Shakyamuni – the Present Buddha; the one to its right is the Dipankara -the Past Buddha; the one to its left is the Maitreya – the Future Buddha. And 18 statues of Arhats are placed along the wall on the two sides of the three buddha status.
- Hall of Perotection （永佑殿）: which was the living room of Yong Zheng Emperor, and was sued to host his coffin after his death; Now, a statue of Bhaisajya-guru, the King of Medicine Master, stands in the enter of this hall
- Hall of the Falun （法轮殿）: a hall for studying religious course and conducting religious ceremony. There is one large statue of Tsongkhapa,whom was the founder of the Geluk School of Tibetan buddhism.
- Pavilion of Fortuine (万福阁) : the 18m tall, actually 26 meters tall (as one part of 8 meter of it is underground) statue of the Maitreya Buddha carved from a single piece of White Sandalwood is placed in this hall. This was a gift from the 7thDalai Lama to the Qianlong Emperor which took three years to be transported from Lhasa to Beijing.
From east to west there are another 4 major halls, of which are Lecture Hall(讲经殿), Tantric Temple（密宗殿）, Mathematics Hall（数学殿）, pharmacist hall（药师殿）. The yards of Yonghe tmeple is gradually narrowed and the halls are getting taller in order to form up the pattern that is the main hall being tall and solemn; the inside halls are deep and private. Those buildings are featured style of chinese Han people, Manchu, Mongolian and Tibetan;
Three superb artworks
- three bronze statues of the Buddhas of the Three Ages — at Assembly Hall
- Five Hundred Arhats Hill — at Hall of the Falun
- 18m tall White Sandalwood statue of the Maitreya Buddha –Pavilion of Fortuine
+86 10 84191906 (Tourist Center)
Ticket: RMB 25.00 per person
Half price: RMB 12.00 per person
Half price for youth aged 6 to 18, and for elementary, middle school, and undergraduate students (excluding graduates and adult or other continuing education students), student ID or other valid ID required.
High Travel Season: 09:00 am – 16:30 pm
Low Travel Season: 09:00 am – 16:00 pm
High Travel Season: from April 1st to October 31st
Low Travel Season: from November 1st to the next March 31st
How to get there
–By bus: 13, 116, 117, 684, At Bus stop “Yong He Gong Stop | “雍和宫站”
–By Metro Line 2 OR 5: at metro stop “Yong He Gong Stop | “雍和宫站”, from Exit “C”， heading south for about 400 meters