Living in a day and age where times are riddled with chronic uncertainty and news channels overflow with troubling events, peace of mind and harmonious times are rare to come by. However, for a traveller in China, a visit to the Lama Temple in Beijing, more formally known as the Yonghe Temple, might give them the opportunity to experience this rare serenity and tranquillity of mind. One of the more significant Buddhist Tibetan temples in the entire world, the Lama temple is in fact one that belongs to the Geluk School. Known by many names including the “Palace of Peace and Harmony Lama Temple” as well as “Yonghe Lamasery”, this monastery can be found in North East Beijing and is accessible through the subway system of the city as well as public transport.
Historically, the Lama temple has been used since its inception during the Qing Dynasty, as a residence, a court for Prince Yong, a Palace as well as a monastery. From the 18th century onwards, this temple was used for accommodation and a great number of monks are believed to have resided here. Furthermore, the temple’s affiliation to Tibetan Buddhism possibly has much to do with it being informally known as the ‘Lama Temple’, a possible reference to the Dalai Lama himself.
The architecture of the monastery is truly a sight to behold as it combines the artistic styles of the Chinese with the subtle Tibetan architecture to create a wonderful marriage of creative inspiration that is pleasant to the eye and truly unique. The temple is one of the most well known in the city and is composed of five main halls which house various artwork, statutes of Lord Buddha as well as the coffin of Emperor Yongzheng, one of the key contributors to the sustenance of the temple in the Hall of Everlasting Protection. The Pavilion of Ten Thousand Happiness’ is also home to a statue created from white sandalwood of Maitreya Buddha which, along with two other great pieces of art, which were included in the famed Guinness World Book of Records.
Subsequent to a visit to the Yonghe Temple, a patron would surely wish to return to the peace and comfort of a serviced apartment in Beijing to enjoy the rest of their stay. While Beijing serviced apartments are becoming increasingly popular as a choice of accommodation, not many such dwellings can give patrons a better experience than Somerset ZhongGuanCun Beijing which belongs to a renowned chain that will provide you with an experience worthy of their reputation.