Beijing Lama Temple: Where Spirituality Meets History

 

 

Explore Lama Temple–The Heart of Tibetan Buddhism in Beijing

The Lama Temple in Beijing’s Dongcheng District is not just any temple—it’s one of the largest and most well-preserved Tibetan Buddhist temples in China!

With a history dating back to when it was a prince’s mansion, this place has seen emperors grow up and has been at the heart of Buddhist worship for centuries.

A Journey Through Time and Space

Built in 1694, it was originally a royal residence before transforming into a spiritual center for Tibetan Buddhism.

This temple, with its five main halls stretching over a vast area, represents the peak of Buddhist architecture during the Qing Dynasty.

Beijing Lama Temple

 

The Place to Be in Beijing

If you’re in Beijing and can only see one temple, you have to visit the Lama Temple.

It’s like stepping into a treasure chest of China’s Buddhist culture.

You’ll see awesome paintings, cool roofs, spinning prayer wheels, beautiful arches, amazing woodwork, and special statues all around, with the smell of incense making everything feel magical.

Cultural Crossroads

The Lama Temple is more than just a place of worship; it’s a testament to the rich tapestry of Chinese culture, where Han, Manchu, Mongolian, and Tibetan influences blend seamlessly.

It’s a must-visit for anyone looking to immerse themselves in the beauty and tranquility of Buddhist tradition.

Beijing Lama Temple

 

A Giant Buddha

The coolest part? There’s a huge Buddha statue that’s taller than a giraffe—26 meters to be exact!

This remarkable figure is housed in the temple’s largest hall and was meticulously carved from a single piece of sandalwood, showcasing incredible craftsmanship.

It’s a truly awe-inspiring sight that captures the essence of the temple’s spiritual and artistic heritage.

Lama Temple visit

 

Lama Tmeple Map & Walking Route

Navigating the Lama Temple is a breeze thanks to the clearly marked red arrows guiding your path.

These arrows make it easy for visitors to explore the temple’s many halls and courtyards without getting lost.

Simply follow these signs, and you’ll smoothly journey through the temple, taking in its serene beauty and rich history at your own pace.

Beijing Lama Temple

 

Lama Temple Highlights

Being the most renowned Buddhist temple outside of Tibet, this temple was transformed into a lamasery in 1744, previously serving as the residence for Emperor Yong Zheng.

As an active center of worship, you might see pilgrims deeply engaged in prayer sessions within its halls.

Today, the Lama Temple is a favored spot for tourists.

Yonghe Gong Main Hall: A Historical Gem

This hall is super important and special because it’s all about history and spirituality.

It’s called Yonghe Gong and is the main spot in the Lama Temple.

A long time ago, it was the home of Emperor Yong Zheng. Imagine living in a place like this!

Now, it’s where all the big Buddhist events happen.

Here’s What Makes It Cool:
  • It’s the center of the action for Buddhist ceremonies.
  • It’s filled with history, once being the emperor’s living space.
If You Visit, You’ll Get to See:
  • Beautiful decorations that tell stories from the past.
  • People gathering for important Buddhist rituals.

The Yonghe Gong Main Hall isn’t just a place; it’s a journey through time and faith. Come see where history and spirituality come alive!

Beijing Lama Temple

 

Yongyou Hall: Royal and Religious Life Combined

Step into the Yongyou Hall for a peek into royal life like no other!

  • This hall was once the personal space of Prince Yongzheng, who later became an emperor.
  • It’s a mix of a monk’s simple life and the fancy life of a royal.
  • Today, it gives us a cool look at what life was like for a powerful emperor in China.
Here’s Why It’s a Must-See:
  • It shows the balance between being a prince and a monk.
  • You can learn about Emperor Yongzheng’s personal side.
When You Visit, You’ll Discover:
  • How royalty lived back in the day.
  • The personal tastes and lifestyle of an emperor.

The Yongyou Hall is more than just a room; it’s a window into the past, showing us the unique world of an emperor who once walked the line between royal duties and spiritual life. Don’t miss this fascinating glimpse into history!

Beijing Lama Temple

 

Hall of the Wheel of Law: A Peaceful Sanctuary

Discover the wonders of the Hall of the Wheel of Law, a place of deep spiritual meaning!

  • This hall, also known as Fa Lun Dian, is the fourth stop on your journey through the temple.
  • Inside, you’ll see a smiling bronze statue of Tsong Khapa, who started the Gelugpa (Yellow Hat Sect).
  • He’s wearing yellow and shines in the sunlight coming from above.
Why It’s Awesome:
  • Tsong Khapa’s statue brings a sense of peace and happiness.
  • It’s a key spot for learning about Buddhist teachings.
What to Look out For:
  • The way natural light highlights the statue.
  • The details and colors of Tsong Khapa’s robes.

The Hall of the Wheel of Law is not just a room; it’s a place where history, spirituality, and art come together. It’s a peaceful spot that shares the story of a major Buddhist figure. Make sure to feel the calm and see the light when you visit!

Beijing Lama Temple

 

Wanfu Pavilion: Encounter with the Giant Buddha

Step into a world of wonder and discover the enchanting Wanfu Pavilion, where history and spirituality come to life!

Giant Buddha Awaits!
  • Step into the Wanfu Pavilion, the fifth hall, and meet an incredible sight: an 18-meter-tall Maitreya Buddha statue.
  • What’s super cool is that this huge statue is made from a single piece of sandalwood and is wearing a shiny yellow satin robe.
  • Imagine seeing toes as big as your pillows at home!
Secret Behind the Buddha
  • Right behind this giant Buddha, there’s a hidden treasure called the Vault of Avalokiteshvara.
  • Take a peek inside, and you’ll find a small, mysterious statue with a blue face.
  • That’s Guanyin, a very special figure who watches over people.
A Magical Connection
  • There’s a magical bridge from the Wanfu Pavilion leading to another fantastic spot, the Yansui Pavilion.
  • Over there, you’ll see a giant lotus flower that spins around, showing glimpses of the Longevity Buddha. It’s like a secret window to another cool sight!
  • This place is full of wonders! Big Buddhas, secret vaults, and spinning lotus flowers make the Wanfu Pavilion a must-see adventure
Lama Temple travel tips

 

Jietai Lou: A Treasury of Buddhist Art

Explore the Jietai Lou, a hidden gem within the temple filled with ancient treasures!

  • Jietai Lou is a cozy side hall packed with bronze statues from Tibetan Buddhism.
  • These beautiful statues date back to the Qing Dynasty, showing off centuries of history.
  • From the powerful Mahakala to the peaceful White Tara and Green Tara, it’s a sight to behold.
Here’s What Makes It Special:
  • It’s home to a wide range of Tibetan Buddhist art.
  • You’ll see everything from exotic figurines to tantric pieces.
Don’t Miss out On:
  • The intricate details of each statue, telling stories of spirituality.
  • The Banchan Lou, another hall, where you can see more treasures like tantric figures, mandalas, and Tibetan scepters, plus gorgeous ceremonial robes made of satin and silk.

Jietai Lou is more than just a hall; it’s a doorway to the past, showcasing the rich culture and spiritual practices of Tibetan Buddhism. Dive into a world of art and history on your visit!

Beijing Lama Temple

 

Making Wishes Come True

If you’re planning to visit the temple and have some special wishes, here’s a fun and easy guide to make sure you know just where to go and what to do!

Goal Where to Go Description
Find Your Happiness Yonghe Gate Hall This is your spot for a happiness boost!
Boost Your Wealth Yonghe Palace Hall Perfect for asking for a little (or a lot!) extra cash flow.
Stay Safe from Bad Vibes Yongli Hall Keep all that spooky stuff away and stay safe.
Kickstart Your Career Falun Hall This is the place to ask for a nudge up the career ladder.
Peace and Safety for All Wanfu Pavilion For that all-around good feeling of peace and protection.

 

Beijing Lama Temple

 

Grab Some Sacred Items!

You can pick up some cool and sacred items at these spots—no ticket needed!

  • Right outside the ticket area, on the west.
  • By the big Zhaotai Gate on the left (it’s super big, you can’t miss it!).
  • Next to the awesome Daxiong Hall on the right (though it might be closed sometimes).

Incense 101: Light Up Some Good Vibes

Grab your free incense sticks at Zhaotai Gate—they say “Three Sticks for a Respectful Offering to Buddha” is just right. Remember, if they catch fire, no blowing! Just wave your hand gently to put it out.

Beijing Lama Temple

 

How to Pray Like a Pro

Start your prayer journey at the main hall. Then, walk around clockwise, sending your best wishes to the Buddha statues. Just here for a bracelet blessing?

Head straight to Daxiong Hall. If you brought incense, Zhaotai Gate is your go-to to make sure your journey is smooth.

Isn’t it great how easy and fun it can be to make your wishes at the temple? Remember, it’s all about having a positive spirit and a kind heart.

Beijing Lama Temple

 

Visitor Tips for an Enlightening Experience

As you prepare to explore the enchanting ambiance of the Lama Temple, we’ve compiled a list of friendly tips to enhance your visit.

These suggestions are designed to ensure you fully embrace the temple’s traditions and spirituality with the utmost respect and mindfulness.

➡️ Keep Moving Forward

Our number one rule? No turning back! It’s all about moving forward, both in the temple and in life.

🚪 Watch the Doorways

Doors here are special—don’t step on their thresholds. It’s like a game of “lava”—step over, not on!

👫 Hand-Holding? Maybe Later!

Couples, hold off on hand-holding till after your temple visit. It’s part of the adventure!

👗 Dress to Impress (Modestly!)

Dress nicely but keep it modest. It’s all about respecting the vibe of our amazing temple.

🕯️ Incense Etiquette

Got your incense? Hold it in your left hand, support it with your right, and aim for three sticks. Lift them up high like you’re reaching for the sky!

📸 Picture Perfect

Inside the halls, keep your cameras away. But don’t worry! The outside is a photographer’s dream. Snap away!

Beijing Lama Temple

 

Immerse in Buddhist Events

Dive into the heart of Buddhist tradition with the vibrant events at Lama Temple, where culture and spirituality come alive.

From ringing in the New Year to making heartfelt wishes, these gatherings are a must-see for anyone visiting Beijing.

Welcome the New Year!

The Lama Temple is a lively place, especially during the Spring Festival Ceremony Dharma Assembly.

This event is all about welcoming the New Year with lots of joy and blessings.

Imagine being surrounded by beautiful chants and the warm wishes of many people.

It’s a fantastic way to start the year on a positive note!

Beijing Lama Temple

 

Make Big Wishes Come True

Then there’s the Great Wish Invocation Dharma Assembly.

It’s a special time when everyone gets together to hope for good things in the future.

People pray, meditate, and share a powerful moment of wishing for happiness and peace for everyone.

It’s like a big group of friends coming together to send good vibes out into the world.

Join the Fun

These gatherings at the Lama Temple are not just ceremonies; they’re exciting experiences.

They’re filled with chanting, meditation, and a sense of togetherness.

Whether you’re new to Buddhism or have been interested for a while, these events are open to everyone.

It’s a cool way to dive into Buddhist culture and feel the strong, positive energy.

Plus, it’s a memorable way to make your own wishes and feel part of something bigger.

Beijing Lama Temple

 

Best Time to Visit

Morning Peace: Want a calm and quiet visit? Try Yonghe Temple early in the morning! It’s super peaceful, making it great for feeling like you’re stepping back in time.

Evening Glow: For something extra special, go at twilight. The setting sun lights up the old temple walls and tiles in the most magical way, adding a cozy and thoughtful mood to your visit.

Opening Hours

  • Chilly Days: From November 1st to March 31st, come between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM.
  • Sunny Days: From April 1st to October 31st, doors are open from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM.

Easy Access to Lama Temple

  • Subway Access: Simply take Line 2 or 5 to Lama Temple Station and exit from Exit F.
  • Bus Routes: Use Bus 13 or 684 for Guozijian Station, 116 or 117 for Lama Temple Station, or Special 2, 18, 62, 606, 909, 44, 800, or 858 for Lama Temple Bridge East Station.
  • Entry Fee: CNY 35 per person, free for kids under 1.2 meters tall.
Beijing Lama Temple

 

Discover Food & Drinks Near Lama Temple

Embark on a culinary journey near Lama Temple with diverse and unique local cuisine options. Here’s a snapshot:

Place Specialties Description
Wuyutai (吴裕泰) Flower tea, Matcha ice cream Sweet world of teas and ice cream for just 9 yuan each.
Xinhe Small Restaurant (新和小馆) Seafood potstickers, Noodles with sauce, Sweet and sour pork loin Feast on seafood, saucy noodles, and delicious pork.
Tea Cake Village (茶饼寨) Cheese cake, Mung bean cake, Red bean cake, Nut milk cake Cake lovers’ paradise with a variety of flavors.
Ma Sanyang’s Potato Chips (马三洋芋片) Potato chips, Spicy wide noodles, Egg and milk rice wine dessert Crunchy chips, spicy noodles, and unique desserts.
Sanyuan Mei Garden (三元梅园) Cheese, Double-layer milk pudding, Single milk rolls Dive into creamy milk pudding and rolls.
Crow Li Ji Small Restaurant (鸦儿李记小馆) Hotpot lamb, Roasted and caramelized flatbread Enjoy savory lamb and delicious flatbread treats.
Abundant Year Sausage (丰年灌肠) Fried stuffed sausage Satisfying fried stuffed sausages for a quick bite.
Yonghe Fried Chicken and Sesame Bun (雍和炸鸡烧饼) Fried chicken drumsticks, Wings Crispy chicken delights for all chicken lovers.
Wang Ji Beef Noodle (王记牛肉面) Beef noodle soup, Vegetarian meatballs, Tendons and brains Slurp-worthy beef noodle soup and more.
Fat Sister Noodle House (胖妹面庄) Chongqing-style spicy noodles, Assorted desserts Spicy noodle adventure with sweet endings.
Beixin Bridge Grilled Squid (北新桥烤鱿鱼) Large squid, Assorted fried skewers, Noodle dishes Grilled squid and skewers for a flavorful experience.
Meitan Village (梅潭村) Fighting fish, Ti Hu cheese crisps, Meitan fermented rice wine Unique eats with cheese crisps and fermented rice wine.

Beijing Lama Temple

 

Nearby Attractions

Confucius Temple: Step back in time at the Confucius Temple, a serene sanctuary dedicated to the famous philosopher, offering a glimpse into China’s scholarly past.

Wudaoying Hutong: Wander through Wudaoying Hutong, a charming alley buzzing with trendy cafes, boutiques, and a blend of old Beijing charm and modern lifestyle.

Nanluoguxiang: Explore Nanluoguxiang, a lively pedestrian street known for its traditional architecture, quaint shops, and vibrant nightlife.

Drum Tower & Bell Tower: Marvel at the ancient Drum Tower & Bell Tower, iconic symbols of Beijing’s rich history, offering panoramic views and a deep dive into timekeeping traditions.

Houhai Lake: Relax by the tranquil waters of Houhai Lake, surrounded by lively bars and restaurants, perfect for experiencing Beijing’s lively social scene.

Jingshan Park: Enjoy a peaceful escape to Jingshan Park, offering stunning views of the Forbidden City and beautiful landscaped gardens atop an artificial hill.

Forbidden City: Immerse yourself in the grandeur of the Forbidden City, the majestic palace complex that housed Chinese emperors, showcasing centuries of architectural brilliance.

Tiananmen Square: Stand in the vastness of Tiananmen Square, a site of significant historical events, flanked by monumental buildings and the iconic portrait of Chairman Mao.

Beijing Lama Temple

 

FAQs

Q: What is Lama Temple known for?

A: Lama Temple is known for being the most famous Tibetan Buddhist temple outside of Tibet, renowned for its beautiful architecture, intricate sculptures, and a 26-meter high statue of the Maitreya Buddha carved from a single piece of white sandalwood.

Q: Why is the Lama Temple important?

A: The Lama Temple is a big deal because it’s one of the biggest places for Tibetan Buddhist learning in the world!

It’s super famous for its beautiful buildings, cool sculptures, and is a key place for learning about Tibetan Buddhism outside of Tibet.

It’s a must-see for anyone interested in China’s spiritual history and culture.

Q: Can visitors take photos inside the Lama Temple?

A: Yes, you can snap pictures in most parts of the Lama Temple!

But, remember, taking photos inside some special rooms isn’t allowed to keep the place respectful.

Always look around for signs about photo rules or just ask someone who works there if you’re not sure.

Q: What is the best time to visit the Lama Temple?

A: Going to the Lama Temple is best in the morning right when it opens on a weekday.

It’s quieter then, so you can enjoy everything more.

Also, visiting during Chinese festivals is really cool because you can see special traditions and celebrations.

Beijing Lama Temple

 

Q: Are there any special artifacts or statues to look out for at the Lama Temple?

A: Inside the Lama Temple, you’ll find some really special things like the world’s biggest wooden Buddha statue made from one piece of sandalwood – it’s even in the Guinness World Records!

Don’t miss the detailed Tibetan paintings and the gorgeous wall art too.

Q: Do I need to follow any specific etiquette while visiting the Lama Temple?

A: When you visit the Lama Temple, remember to dress nicely, take off your hat inside, talk quietly, and be calm.

It’s polite to walk around the temple the way the clock goes (clockwise).

If there are any more rules, the temple staff will let you know. Let’s show respect and enjoy our visit!

Q: How many people visit the Lama Temple?

A: While exact visitor numbers can vary, Lama Temple is a popular site in Beijing, attracting thousands of visitors daily, especially during major festivals and holidays.

Q: How do I get to Lama Temple?

A: Lama Temple is easily accessible by public transportation in Beijing.

The closest subway station is Yonghegong (Lama Temple) Station on Line 2 and Line 5, which is just a short walk away from the temple entrance.

Q: What is the architecture of the Lama Temple?

A: The architecture of Lama Temple is a blend of Han Chinese and Tibetan styles.

It features five main halls, beautifully decorated with Tibetan prayer flags, intricate carvings, and statues of Buddhist deities, showcasing the rich cultural heritage of Tibetan Buddhism.

Q: What is the holiest city in Tibet?

A: The holiest city in Tibet is Lhasa, home to many sacred sites including the Potala Palace, Jokhang Temple, and several important monasteries, making it a center of Tibetan Buddhism and culture.

Discover engaging activities in Beijing through these articles if you’re planning a visit to China:

Most Popular Posts

When is the best time to visit the Great Wall of China

Mutianyu Great Wall travel guide

Where is the best location to stay in Beijing

How long should I stay in Beijing