There is something very down to earth about the Lamma or Yonghe Temple in Beijing even though the colours of the temple are far from being modest. Probably because it was formerly an imperial residence and later converted into a Tibetan Buddhist monastery. Red – the colour for the commons, according to the Chinese belief, is the main colour, while adornments in blue, green, and gold make up the elaborate roofs.
Interestingly, it survived the effects of cultural revolution and remains to this day a functioning temple by Tibetan monks. I was so mesmerised by the architecutre, the colours, the worshipers and the beautiful interiors, I didn’t particularly pay attention to the history.
If you would like to pay a visit, I recommend having a lunch at King’s Joy Vegetarian Restaurant nearby to set you in the mood and walking it off inside the temple. If your need any further convincing, it is “the most renowned Tibetan Buddhist temple outside Tibet” as per the Lonely Planet.
The traditional Chinese architectural gateway, is beautifully decorated with intricate art work, Tibetan and Chinese calligraphy, and representations of mythical animals similar to what I saw in the Forbidden City.
There are tens of thousands of Buddhas at every level inside Pavilion of Ten Thousand Happinesses, even on the roof
Peaceful interiors even though it is brimming with people
Censers in the temple