The Lama Temple is the largest temple of Beijing. Originally established as a palace for a prince of the Qing dynasty, it was turned into a Lama temple in 1744. It is the best known Tibetan Buddhist temple in China, that is, if you don't include Tibet itself in China. This Tibetan temple can also be seen as a convenient argument for the government to show that they have a liberal stance towards religion and national unity.
On a cold December day, I decided to go to the Lama Temple. Snow blowing around me, and with my hands deep in my gloves, I entered this temple without realizing I was going to be in for several hours. The lane leading to the entrance proper is of the long, tree-lined type, and the fresh snow on the ground and the branches of the trees gave it a very wintery appearance. When I entered the main courtyard, I first looked at the pavillions or towers, among them the Bell Tower, the Drum Tower, and the Porridge Pot. The latter was apparently used by a Lama to make porridge and distribute it among the people.
I watched one of the large incense burners outside the entrance of the first hall, with faces of praying people and a monk partly hidden by the incense smoke. From here, I explored all temples and halls, in which photography is unfortunately not allowed. I saw small exhibitions, artwork, tapestries, and in one of the last halls, the giant Buddha, made of one piece of sandalwood, and 18 metres high. An imposing sight, a giant Buddha, Maitreya Buddha. looking down in a friendly way, with his enormous hands calming those looking up at him.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Lama Temple (). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Lama Temple.
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