Known as a Temple of peace and harmony – The Lama Temple, also called the Yonghe Temple is a monastery of Tibetan Buddhism and a school for the Geluk. This historic temple, located in the north-eastern part of Beijing, China is known to be among the largest and most reputed Tibetan religious venues in the world. The building is decorated with traditional artworks combining the styles of Tibetan and Chinese as a mark of respect to both nations.
The house initially constructed in 1694 served as a public residence for court eunuchs and it later converted into a court for the Prince Yong, a son of the Kangxi Emperor in 1722 until his death in 1735. The place was then re-established and renovated into a monastery for a number of large Tibetan Buddhists monks from Mongolia and Tibet.
The monastery is home to many important relics and elements. The main building of the temple is known as the Hall of Harmony and Peace. It possesses three bronze statues of the Buddha's of the Three Ages, a statuette of the Gautama Buddha of the present in the centre, a statue of Kasyapa Matanga – the Buddha of the Past and the Maitreya – Buddha of the Future on either corners of the room. Furthermore, 18 Arhats can be seen along the sides of the hall. There is also a mural in the hall that showcases the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. Another spectacle that graces this house of religion is the statue of the Bhajsajya-guru – known as the healing Buddha.
At the Lama Temple, visitors will come across a room deemed "The Hall of the Wheel of the Law" – this serves as a room for religious functions and a place for spiritual recreational activities and reading. The room is filled with a number of attractions such as a large statue of Je Tsongkhapa, the founder of the Geluk school, a carving called the Five-Hundred-Arhat-Hill, carved out of red sandalwood and its statues made from five varieties of different metals; silver, gold, copper and tin. Another statue that can be seen is the 26 meters tall Maitreya Buddha carved out of a piece of white sandalwood, standing tall and glorious at the "The Pavilion of Ten Thousand Happiness's". This statue is among three artworks from the temple that was included in the Guinness Book of World Records in the year 1993.
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