The Lama Temple (YongHeGong) Beijing

The Lama Temple in Beijing is a functioning lamasery for Tibetan and Mongolian monks practicing Tibetan Buddhism. It’s open to visitors, and is a very popular tourist attraction featuring well preserved ancient architecture and artifacts, along with friendly monks roaming the grounds!

As a primer, the word lama is another name for a Buddhist priest, and a lamasery is a place for monks to practice their beliefs on the journey to becoming a lama. It’s somewhat hard to imagine that someone could find spiritual enlightenment in the middle of bustling Beijing, but nonetheless, this is quite a special place.

The site, built in the late 1600’s, was originally the palace of Prince Yin Zhen who later became an emperor. The palace then became a Buddhist monastery as it is today.

The large grounds are walled off from the surrounding city, although the nearby streets carry a similar theme to the temple with many shops selling related souvenirs and Buddhist ornaments.  Inside the walls are numerous halls, courtyards, pavilions, gates, towers and yards each having special significance and meaning.

 

Photo: Looking across the courtyard towards Yonghe Gate which contains statues of four ‘Heavenly Kings’ and is also the entry gate to the main area of the temple.

 

Courtyard panorama – click for larger image 

 

Panorama of Wanfuge Hall – Click for larger image

 

The pinnacle of the site is inside the Wanfuge Hall, which holds a massive 18-meter high statue of the Buddhist deity Maitreya. Amazingly the statue is carved from a single piece of sandalwood, unfortunately, no photos of the statue are allowed.

One big buddha…

 

Getting There

Address: 12 Yonghegong Dajie, Dongcheng, Beijing 

Taxi – Show the driver 雍和宫

Subway – Take Subway Line 2, or  5, to Yonghe Temple Station (雍和宫),  and go out Exit C

 

Tickets and Open Hours

Ticket: 25 RMB
Open: Apr. – Oct.: 9:00 to 16:30 | Nov. – Mar.: 9:00 to 16:00

 

Lama Temple Location Map including nearby hotels

Center map
Traffic
Bicycling
Transit

 

For more sightseeing and attraction, reviews see all the posts about Beijing 

See my detailed guide to visiting Badaling section of the Great Wall, plus everything you need to know for visiting the Ming Tombs, the Summer Palace, and the Forbidden City.

 

Where to Stay in Beijing?

One of my top picks for places to stay is the Sofu Hotel, which has a small food street near its door, it’s four-star, and is a very short walk to Ping’anli Station which gives you access to Line 4 and 6. Another choice is the Novotel Xinqiao which is four star and very near Chongwenmen Station or the Ji Hotel at Xuanwumen Station. All three are super convenient for getting around the attractions of Beijing by subway.

See also, my hand-picked list of the top 15  spa hotels in Beijing.

 

 

One thought on “The Lama Temple (YongHeGong) Beijing

  • May 20, 2010 at 3:43 am
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    Though there are so many temples become profitable tools, it have special significance and meaning.

    If you want to some peace and quiet, it is a good idea for you to a small temples in mountain which have no so many visitors, it have the essence of temples.

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