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Lama Temple

lama-temple1 Yonghe Lama Temple is a famous lamasery located in the northeastern part of the old city of Beijing. It was a palatial residence built in 1694 by Qing emperor, Kangxi, for his fourth son, Prince Yongzheng, who later succeeded to the throne.

lama-temple3This magnificent temple consists of five main buildings lying on the north-south axis, with annex halls standing on both sides. The temple is listed by the Chinese Government as one of the important historical monuments under special preservation.

Yong He Lama Temple is arranged along a north-south central axis, which has a length of 480m. The main gate is at the southern end of this axis.

Along the central axis of Yong He Gong, there are five main halls that are separated by courtyards: the Hall of Heavenly Kings (Tian Wang Dian or Devaraja Hall), the Hall of Harmony and Peace (Yong He Gong), the Hall of Everlasting Protection (Yong You Dian), the Hall of the Wheel of the Law (Fa Lun Dian), and the Pavilion of Ten Thousand Joys (Wan Fu Ge).

lama-temple2History of Yong He Lama Temple:
Building work on the Yong He Gong Temple started in 1694 during the Qing Dynasty. It originally served as an official residence for court eunuchs. It was then converted into the court of Prince Yong Zheng (Yin Zhen), a son of emperor Kang Xi. After Yong Zheng's ascension to the throne in 1722, half of the building was converted into a lamasery, a monastery for monks of Tibetan Buddhism, while the other half remained an imperial palace.

After Yong Zheng's death in 1735, his coffin was placed in the temple. Yong Zheng's successor, emperor, Qian Long, gave the temple imperial status. This was signified by having its turquoise tiles replaced with the yellow tiles that were reserved for the emperor. Subsequently (1744), the monastery became a lamasery and a residence for large numbers of Tibetan Buddhist monks from Mongolia and Tibet. The Yong He Gong Lamasery became the national centre of Lama administration.