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 Essential Architecture-  Peking

White Dagoba Temple




Beihai Park , Beijing / Peking, China




Yuan Dynasty


Its base is a three-layered square with a height of nine meters. Thirty six copper bells hang to a tray, also made of copper, under the roof of the dagoba. They sound beautifully well when wind blows unto them. This dagoba is on the opposite side of the White Dagoba in Beihai Park and fifteen meters higher. The Temple's White Dagoba is the biggest in Beijing and is considered the largest Lama Stupa of the Yuan Dynasty (1271 - 1368) in present day China. There are many precious Buddhist cultural relics hidden inside the roof of the dagoba and are now displayed at the Temple. For example, there are the scriptures written by Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty, and the little carved Buddhas figures.


There are altogether three Halls in White Dagoba Temple. The first one is exhibits on the history of the temple, as well as a display of several of the priceless Buddhist treasures that were discovered when the Pagoda was being renovated in 1978. The second Hall is an impressive display called the Hall of 10,000 Buddhas. Al-though there are not actually 10,000 statues in the Hall, there are over 7,000 of them, Walking into the Hall is a breathtaking sight, the place is literally covered in Buddha statues on all four walls. Behind this Hall is the Hall of Seven Buddhas, Which is home to seven large Buddha statues, as opposed to the thousands of little ones, behind this is the White Pagoda itself. Although visitors are not allowed to go up on the Pagoda itself, there is really not much to go up on, there are no doors leading into the structure.

The White Dagoba is fifty one meters high like a gourd. The whole body was covered by chalkiness.Its upper part is like a conic neck divided into three fragments.

The temple has undergone numerous reconstructions. The Dajue Dian (Hall of the Great Enlightened Ones), the first building, contains thousands of little Buddhas in glass cases, set into the columns. An earthquake in 1976 turned up numerous artifacts, some of which are now on display in the museum. You'll find Buddhist statuary demonstrating ritualistic hand positions (mudra), a sutra copied out by the Qianlong emperor, and vivid thangka (silk hangings depicting Buddhist images). Just to the east is a potentially fascinating temple, Lidai Diwang Miao (Temple for Emperors of Past Dynasties). Constructed during the 1530s to house the ancestral tablets of the emperors of "Chinese" dynasties -- the Han, Tang, and Song, it was expanded by Qing emperors to include not only their Ming predecessors, but also the "barbarian" rulers of the Liao, Jin, and Yuan.

The Temple was formally opened in 1980. By now, the reconstruction of the mountain gate of the Temple has already been completed.


White Dagoba Temple

Miaoying Temple, also named White Dagoba Temple, got its name because there is a white dagoba in the temple.

The temple is composed of Tianwang Hall, Yizhu Xinjing Hall, Qifo Hall, Jvliu Shentong Hall and the temple courtyard. Jvliu Shentong Hall retains its original pattern, inside which there are wooden carvings of Sakyamuni, Amitabha, and Medicine Buddha.

On the east and west walls, there are eight portraits of Buddha dharma protectors in Tibetan Buddhism. The white dagoba is 50.9 meters high, exquisite and spectacular.

At present, the gate of the temple has been renovated and there is an exhibition on precious cultural relics housed in the temple.

Many precious cultural relics found at the top of the dagoba, such as sutras written by Emperor Qianlong, an exquisite golden Buddha statue, a Buddha coronet and a cassock decorated with over a thousand of jewelries and a colorful hada etc.

All the cultural relics are of best quality and extraordinary techniques. The art exhibition on Tibetan Buddha statues displays nearly ten thousand of bronze, gilded statues made in Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties.

Further Information:

Address: No.171 Fuchengmennei Street, Xicheng District, Beijing

Bus Route: Bus No. 13, 42, 101, 102, 103, 409, 603, 709, 812, 814, 823, 846, 850 to the stop of White Pagoda Temple or subway to Fuchengmen Station

Opening Hours: 9:00-17:00 (16:30 stop selling tickets)

Tel: 8610-66133317, 8610-66176164

( August 25, 2005)