I went to Lama Temple in Beijing last Sunday. We went to this place after visiting Great Wall and had to trek for couple of hours to get to there. The vastness of the temple is completely masked by the Beijing City that has grown around it.
Entrance to the temple.. Surprisingly, this huge temple had a narrow entrance causing heavy traffic snarls on a main road in which it is situated.
Brief history of the temple. Built in 1694, Lama temple was first used as the residence of court eunuchs of the Ming dynasty and was later partially converted to a lamasery in 1734. But the temple was closed during the cultural revolution for many years and reopened only in 1980. Now, Lama Temple is a major tourist attraction and is also place of worship for Buddhists.
Lama Temple consists of 5 huge halls (sanctums ?) housing various types of Buddhas connected by well decorated courtyards. This one is the last such sanctum housing the tallest wooden Buddha statue in the world.
Devotees lighting incense sticks as offering to Buddha. These sticks are large and comes in various shapes and sizes but were devoid of any fragrance.
More pictures in flickr
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