UNHEGUN – Temple and Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism in Beijing
Russian tourists are rarely visited by the Buddhist Temple of UNHEGUN in Beijing. It is for this reason that I am writing about him in a blog, and not in the main cycle of articles about China on the site. There is a lot of interesting sights in Beijing, and this place is often not included in the travel programs precisely for lack of time.
And the place is really interesting. His name is translated as the "Palace of Peace and Harmony". Now this is the current temple and the monastery of Tibetan Buddhism with more than 300-year-old stories.
History of the temple of the UNHEGUN
This complex of buildings was erected in 1694, and then it was not supposed to be used as a Buddhist temple. Here lived court eunuchs of the Forbidden City. Later, the residence of the Crown Prince was located here – the future emperor UNCHEN.
When Junzhen reigned in 1722, he made his former monastery residence. Junhagun acquired the imperial status. Roofs on the roofs were replaced with turquoise on yellow, and yellow color meant that this place belongs to the emperor. In 1735, Emperor Junzhen died, and he was buried here.
The emperors of the Qing Dynasty cared for the world in the country. This place performed the functions of the merge of Chinese and Tibetan cultures. Tibetan and Mongolian Lama lived here, fulfilling the role of Tibet and Mongolia ambassadors.
So it lasts until 1949, when the Tiananmen Square Mao Zedong proclaimed the creation of the PRC. Then the temple was closed. He even wanted to demolish, but helped the personal intervention of the premiere of the State Administrative Council (Government) of the PRC – Zhou Egnlay.
In 1981, the monastery and the temple earned again, and now UNHEGUN is very popular with tourists. Here they love to carry excursion groups, since the price of the entrance is small, the place is interesting and go here near.
How to get
In the Temple of Yunhagun it is easy to drive to the Metro Beijing. The first option is to reach the Yonghegong station (Yunhagun) line 2. It is better to go to the ‘C’ output and go south about 400 meters. You will see the monastery, it is difficult to confuse it with something.
The second option is to go to Yonghegong station (Yunhagun), but already on the fifth subway line. Here go to the ‘C’ output and find yourself next to the monastery.
What’s the cover charge
Entrance to the Junhagun temple costs 25 Chinese yuan, regardless of the season.
From April to October – from 9-00 to 16-30.
From November to March – from 9-00 to 16-00.
How much time plan to visit
If you look fast, then count for one hour. If you want to see everything in detail, then count on two hours.
What to look inside – architecture and inscription
First of all, pay attention to the architecture of buildings. This is a mixture of Chinese and Tibetan styles. At first glance, it is difficult to notice, outwardly the buildings look quite in Chinese. But you need to look. You will notice Tibetan turrets on the roofs and screwed round shape.
Pay attention to the blue plates with the names of the pavilions. You will see the inscriptions at once in four languages - Chinese, Tibetan, Mongolian and Manchur. Why such a set?
Chinese hieroglyphs – it is logical, here comments are superfluous. Tibetan characters also do not cause questions, because this is a school monastery Gelug Tibetan Buddhism. Manchurian characters are present due to the origin of the emperors of Qing, because they were not Chinese, but were manchurs. Mongols also confess Tibetan Buddhism, and this is their temple too.
UNHEGUN Temple Complex Built on Feng Shui Principles. It has a rectangular shape with the entrance in the south and exit in the north. All major buildings are located along the central axis of the South-north of 480 meters long. In its configuration, it is very similar to the Forbidden City, only smaller.
There are five main pavilions here.
Hall of Heavenly Kings
This is the southernmost pavilion. In the center of the hall is the statue of the Buddha Maitrei, and on the sides there are four sculptures of the kings of the sky.
Hall of harmony and world
This is the main building of the UNHEGUN monastery, and, accordingly, the biggest. Here are the statues of three buddes of different times. In the center of Shakyamuni – the present, on the right of Cashiapa Mantang – the past and left Maitreya – the future.
Along the walls you will see 18 statues of arghats. The fresco in this hall shows Bodhisatat Avalokiteshwaru. Now I will not tell about who it is. We talked about it in the cycle of articles about Buddhism, the link was higher on this page.
Hall of eternal protection
It was in this pavilion that Emperor Junzhen lived, being another prince. It was here that there was a coffin with his body after death. Now here is the statue of Buddha Bhaishajaguaguru. This Buddha is considered a patron of medicine.
Hall of the Wheel of the Law
This room is used for ceremonies and reading sacred texts. Here you will see a statue of the Tsongkapy – the famous Tibetan philosopher and the founder of the Gelug School. It is in this room that is the most interesting place for tourists – this is the hill of five hundred arghats. All 500 figures of enlightened arhats are made of five metals – gold, silver, copper, iron and tin.
Hall of ten thousand joy
Here is the statue of the Buddha Maitrei 18 meters in height, carved from a solid slicer of sandalwood. In fact, it is even more, as another 8 meters of sculpture is underground.
The grandiose looks like! In the temple and the UNHEGUN monastery it is worth going only to look at this statue. This is a gift from Dalai Lama III Emperor Tsyanlun. This statue was brought from Tibet to Beijing for three years. She even deserved her place in the Guinness Book of Records.
I highly recommend watching the temple of UNHEGUN. Read other blog entries and our main articles (Links below).