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Lama Temple - Perfectly Preserved Lamasery in Beijing

Located in the city center, we arrived at this popular attraction at 9:00am easily by subway Line 2. While getting out of the subway station, standing on the street to the entrance of Lama Temple, we felt strong religious atmosphere. On both sides there are full of stores selling incense and amulet. The first day and the fifteenth day of a month are the best days for praying so on those days there must be full of tourists.

Lama Temple is open at 9:00am and today is Thursday, so it was not crowded in the early morning. The entrance fee is 25 RMB for adult and it is really worth the price. The entrance ticket even comes with a small CD which introduce about Lama Temple. I simply enjoy myself sightseeing as I am not there for praying and the architecture here is simply impressive. One word to summarize my feeling here is that "Fascinating insight into a Buddhist temple today".

Lama Temple in Beijing

Lama Temple is not very large which features five large halls and five courtyards (Hall of the Heavenly Kings, Hall of Harmony and Peace, Hall of Everlasting Blessings, Hall of the Dharma Wheel and Pavilion of Infinite Happiness) with beautifully decorative archways, upturned eaves and carved details. It also houses a treasury of Buddhist arts including sculptured images of gods, demons and Buddhas, as well as Tibetan-style murals. Hall of the Dharma Wheel and Pavilion of Infinite Happiness gave me a deep impression. With 5 gilded pagodas, Hall of the Dharma Wheel functions as a place for reading scriptures and conducting religious ceremonies. Every morning between 5:00am ~7:00am is the time for lamas reading. In the middle there stands a large, 6m high, gilded bronze statue of Tsong Khapa. Besides, the hall also contains a Five Hundred Arhat Hill, a carving made of red sandalwood with statues of the arhats made from five different metals - gold, silver, copper, iron and tin. The Pavilion of Infinite Happiness, the last main hall, is the highest hall of this temple. The large statue caught me eyes while entered the hall. The entire statue which is carved from a rare sandal tree is 26 meters (85 feet) in height, with eight meters (26 feet) buried under the ground. It is so huge that I have to look up to his face!

After visiting the 5 main halls, we go back the same way to the exit. Now 11:00am already and many religious come here to pray. For praying, in front of each hall, you had better light up 3 incenses but I do not know why. Tibetan chanting, incense, horns and drums and if you are so inclined, a marvelously spiritual experience.