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Monday, 18 August 2014

The Lama Temple

The beautiful Archway leading to the Imperial way.

After our relaxing lunch in the Hutong, we retraced our steps to the main road and entered the lovely Lama Temple.

Entering the Temple.

Worshippers preparing to pray.

Alice outside the East Tablet Pavilion.

The Yonghe Lamasery, commonly know as the Lama Temple or the Palace of Peace and Harmony is a working Buddhist monastery. It was built in 1694 and is one of the largest Tibetan Monasteries in the world. It is set in 16 acres of parkland and the Temple is approached by The Imperial Way, a tree lined walk, which was lovely and cool.

The Bell Tower in the first courtyard.

One of a pair of fantastic lions.

As it is a working monastery there were a lot of people praying as well as large numbers of tourists. Worshippers are given or buy bunches of incense sticks, which they take to whichever Hall holds the Buddha they would like to pray to. Prayers are said outside the building and again inside and the worshippers leave a number of the incense sticks in front of the altars for the monks to light. As is is a working monastery photos inside the buildings were not allowed, although if you Google the Lama Temple there are plenty of photos to be found of the interiors.

One of a pair of lions flanked by turtles, the other matching statue was under renovation.

There are five courtyards in all, with central and side halls, most of them containing one or more Buddha statues. The whole site is beautifully looked after and very ornate, but that was just how it should be to me. Although there were a lot of tourists, the overall feeling was of peace and calm, with large courtyards, and shady cypress trees.

Courtyards filled with the smell of incense.

The old with the new in the background.

This is a beautiful place to visit, serene and scented with incense throughout the whole site. The buildings are as beautiful as any I have seen in China, the 18 metre high statue of Maitreya, reputedly carved from a single piece of sandalwood, which is situated in the Wanfuge Pavilion is quite simply a jaw dropping sight! When I saw it I just said WOW. The building must have been built around this statue, it is just an amazing sight.

Wangfuge Pavilion, home of the Meitraya Buddha statue.

As you can see the whole site is beautiful, I especially like the roofs of the buildings, they make for amazing photos. Also you might have noticed the beautiful blue sky when we arrived, sadly it soon changed the uniform grey that is usual in Beijing. It was still extremely hot but we walked a little bit and sat a little bit just soaking up the atmosphere Smile

One of the animals has lost his head Sad smile

Gold, green and grey roof animals Smile

Here be dragons!

A young lady preparing to enter one of the halls to pray to the Buddha.

Beautiful courtyards

And finally for those of you that remember the dragon rubbish bin from my last visit, here is another gorgeous way to dispose of your rubbish!!

Aren’t they lovely?

We had had a very busy day but it was not over just yet. After leaving the temple we went to another, very busy and popular Hutong which was full of shops, gift shops, shoe shops and food shops. I had to buy a beautiful pair of embroidered shoes, as my feet by now were very sore and my shoes were rubbing! We sat on a wall in the Hutong, drinking an ice cold bubble tea (yummy!) and watching the world go by. We ended the day by going to a beautiful restaurant which served Yunnan food. A lovely day Open-mouthed smile

People watching in the Hutong.

In the Restaurant.

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