Spirituality and the quest for awakening and enlightenment plays a great role in Chinese religious history and as a result, lead to the construction of a number of temples, stupas and other places of worship as well as the veneration of deities and gods. The Dajue Temple is one such place of worship in Beijing, China.
Initially constructed in the early 11th century during the Liao Dynasty, the temple was renovated during the Ming Dynasty and it is this reconstructed temple that is visible to visitors today. As Awakening and Enlightenment are both concepts that are important to practicing Buddhists, this sanctuary is also known as the Temple of Great Awakening or Enlightenment.
Located on the Yangtai Mountain of the Haidian District, the Temple of Great Awakening hosts the Magnolia Festival annually in April and this contribution coupled with its historical importance lead the government administration to list it as a Cultural Relic Site in 2006. The design of this sanctuary is greatly linked to the practice of the people of the Liao Dynasty of worshipping the sun. As a result, it faces east while accommodation for priests and monks are arranged in the northern part of the sanctuary.
The temple itself is located centrally and it is one of the first sights one sees when entering through the front gate. A visitor will also see the Hall of Heavenly Kings and the statues of the Bodhisattvas located in the middle. A person, who wishes to make a visit to the Temple of Great Awakening, should keep in mind that the Magnolia Festival is held during the latter part of April and if you are in the vicinity during this time, a visit to this place of worship would not be wasted. This place of worship is open from 8.00 in the morning till 5.00 in the evening and charges an entry fee of CNY 20. Before returning to your Beijing hotel, you can also visit the nearby attraction of the Jiufeng Naional Forest Park.
If you wish to explore the cultural, religious and historical landmarks of the country further, staying at a hotel in Beijing, such as the iconic and sophisticated Raffles Beijing hotel, would allow you the convenience of a central location, just behind the Forbidden City and within minutes from the Temple of Heaven and Tiananmen Square.