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Lama Temple

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The Lama Temple, officially known as the Yonghe Temple, is the most renowned Tibetan Buddhist temple outside of Tibet.

Located north of the Forbidden City, the Lama Temple is based on the Tibetan Buddhist school of Gelug, also known as the Yellow Hat Sect. Gelug has been practiced since the 16th century and was very popular with both the northern Chinese and the Mongolians.

The Lama Temple is a combination of Han Chinese and Tibetan architectural style, and was built in 1694 during the Qing Dynasty as the residence for the Yongzheng Emperor when he was a prince. After Yongzheng ascended the throne in 1722, half of the Lama Temple was converted into a lamasery, a monastery for monks of Tibetan Buddhism, while the other half served as an imperial palace for the emperors.

After Yongzheng died, the Qianglong Emperor, Yongzheng's successor, gave the Lama Temple imperial status. The temple then began to serve as a residence for Tibetan Buddhist monks from Mongolia and Tibet, and became the national centre of administrating Lamas.

Along the main axis of the Lama Temple stand five main halls, the Hall of the Heavenly Kings (Tian Wang Dian), the Hall of Harmony and Peace (Yonghegong), the Hall of Everlasting Protection (Yongyoudian), the Hall of the Wheel of the Law (Falundian), and the Pavilion of Ten Thousand Happiness (Wanfuge). The most prized possession in the Lama Temple is the 55ft high sandalwood statue of the Maitreya Buddha in the Wanfu Pavilion which holds the Guinness World Record for the largest carving created from a single sandalwood tree.

Lama Temple Holidays

What better way to experience it than on a Wendy Wu tour?

  • Free BCU or no single supplement
    Enchanting China

    Enchanting China

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    17 days from £3,190ppFully Inclusive of Tour & Flights

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  • Free BCU or no single supplement
    A China Adventure

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  • Free BCU or no single supplement
    Land of the Dragon

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Things To See Nearby

  • Discover Great Wall of China
    Great Wall of China

    China’s most iconic sight, the Great Wall of China winds its way through the stark landscapes of north China for over 4,000 miles.

  • Discover The Forbidden City
    The Forbidden City

    The Forbidden City boasts over 180 acres of exquisite and ornate traditional Chinese palatial architecture.

  • Discover The Summer Palace
    The Summer Palace

    Built in 1750 as a summertime playground for the royal family the Summer Palace is a masterpiece of traditional Chinese landscaping.

  • Discover The Temple of Heaven
    The Temple of Heaven

    A complex of magnificent religious buildings set within the 267 hectares of the Temple of Heaven Park.

  • Discover Tiananmen Square
    Tiananmen Square

    The vast expanse of Tiananmen Square covers over 100 acres making it one of the largest public squares in the world.

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