The Yonghe Temple 雍和宮, also known as the “Palace of Peace and Harmony Lama Temple”,is a temple and monastery of the Geluk school of Tibetan Buddhists located in Dongcheng district of Beijing,China. It is one of the largest and most important Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the world. The building and the artworks of the temple is a combination of Han Chinese and Tibetan styles.History: Building work on the Yonghegong Temple started in 1694 during the Qing Dynasty. It served as a court of the Prince Yong (Yin Zhen), a son of the kangxi emperor and himself the future yongzheng emperor. After Yongzheng’s ascension to the throne in 1722, half of the building was converted into a lamasery, a monastery for monks of Tibetan Buddhism. The other half remained an imperial palace.After Yongzheng’s death in 1735, his coffin was placed in the temple.
There are five main halls which are separated by courtyards:
The Hall of the Heavenly Kings It served originally as the main entrance to the monastery. In the center of the hall stands a statue of the Maitreya Buddha, along the walls statues of the 4 Heavenly kings are arranged.
The Hall of Harmony and Peace is the main building of the temple. It houses three Bronze statues of the Buddhas of the Three Ages, the statue of the Gauthama Buddha (Buddha of the Present) is in the center, it is flanked by the statue of Kasyapa Matanga (Buddha of the Past, right) and the Maitreya Buddha (Buddha of the Future, left). Along the sides of the hall, the statues of the 18 Arhats are placed. A mural in the hall shows the Boddhisattava Avalokitesvara.
The Hall of the Wheel of the Law functions as a place for reading scriptures and conducting religious ceremonies. It contains a large statue of Je tsonghkapha, founder of the Geluk School. The hall also contains the Five-Hundred Arhat hall, 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 Ten Thousand Happinesses contains an 26m tall (18m above the ground and 8m underneath) statue of the Maitreya Buddha carved from a single piece of White Sandalwood the statue is one of three artworks in the Temple which were included in the Guinness book of world records in 1993.
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