24 Hours Hotline: +86 137-3541-1378
+86 157-0009-4881
Email:

Your Location: Home > Beijing Attractions > Bailin Temple

Bailin Temple

Bailin_Temple_1.jpg

Introduction
The Bailin Temple, also known as the "Monastery of the Cypress Grove", is a temple and monastery of Tibetan Buddhism located in Beijing, China. History Imperial era Construction of the Bailin Temple started in 1347, under the reign of Emperor Shun of the Yuan Dynasty, in an open tract of land east of the Temple of Confucius.

History & Background
Imperial era
Construction of the Bailin Temple started in 1347, during the reign of Yuan emperor Shun, in an open tract of land in the capital Dadu, to the east of the Temple of Confucius. The temple, the largest of its kind in Dadu, was occupied by the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism, which enjoyed great power under the Mongol emperors. The fortunes of the temple, though, were short-lived: in 1355 the Sakya were overthrown in Tibet by local warlords, and the Yuan Dynasty suffered the same fate 13 years later in 1368, when Dadu was taken by a rebel army and pillaged.

Although the structure of the Bailin Temple mostly survived the event, the monastery fell into disrepair in the following decades. It remained so even after 1421, when the Ming Dynasty moved the capital back to the north, naming it Beijing. In 1447, the Zhengtong Emperor ordered a renovation of the monastery, and in the following years a small square developed in front of the temple’s main gate.

In 1644 Beijing was again taken by a rebel army, and shortly afterwards occupied by the Manchus. Apparently the Bailin Temple did not suffer heavy consequences from the wars. In 1694 a palace for Prince Yong, the fourth son of the Kangxi Emperor, was built directly west of the temple. The prestige of this new neighbour resulted in the gift of a monumental bell in 1707, and in a complete renovation of the monastery in 1713 on the occasion of the 60th birthday of the Kangxi Emperor. The works of renovation were directly supervised by Prince Yong himself who, in 1722, succeeded to the throne as the Yongzheng Emperor. That same year, the new monarch donated part of his former palace to Tibetan lamas of the Gelug school, which would transform it, in a few decades, into the largest Tibetan temple outside Tibet, the Yonghegong Lamasery (???).

The rise of such monastery resulted in a partial oblivion for Bailin Temple which, by the end of the dynasty, had become dependent on its western counterpart. However, the generosity of the Qing emperors and the wealth of the Gelug school made sure that temple was kept in good repair. In 1758, the Qianlong Emperor ordered a lavish renovation of the buildings, part of his great project to shape Beijing into a monument to his power.

Like the Yonghegong Lamasery, Bailin Temple was not touched during the pillages of 1860 by Anglo-French forces and of 1900 by the Eight-Nation Alliance, because of the superstitious fear that Tibetan Buddhism inspired to the invaders.

Modern era
The phenomenon of decadence aggravated after the Communist takeover of Beijing in 1949. In August 1966, the temples were attacked by Red Guards, who evacuated the lamas from the area and reorganised the buildings, including dormitories, stables, warehouses and shrines outside the main temples, assigning them to danwei. After this period several brick structures were built inside Bailin Temple’s walls and the screenwall was linked to the main walls to create a closed courtyard; the Drum and Bell Towers were torn down, and the stone lions, the Buddhist statues and two stone tablets displaying the rules to observe inside the temple disappeared. After the Tangshan earthquake (1976), the flow of refugees dramatically increased density in and around the temple.

In 1988 Bailin Temple was designated by the government to host the Cadre Academy of the Ministry of Culture/Central Academy of Cultural Administration (???????) and the Beijing Historical Site Preservation Bureau, in addition to other private and public companies’ offices. In 1992 the government funded a renovation of the temple, which restored the original building but did not touch the new ones. Since 2007, the Beijing Cultural Heritage Protection Centre (CHP) also established its headquarters in one of the buildings. In Autumn of the same year, a public mill (a stone slab used by the community in ancient times to grind cereals) in front of the temple has been destroyed, as the road was levelled for easier traffic.

Architecture and artwork
The five main structures in the temple compound are laid out on a central axis. Proceeding from the front gate to the rear of the temple, they are as follows: the main gate, the Devaraja Hall (Hall of the Heavenly Kings), the Hall of Attaining Perfection (Yuanjuxingjuedian), the Mahavira Hall (Daxiongbaodian) and the Vimalakirti Hall or Hall of Bodhisattva Purity (Weimoge).

A horizontally inscribed plaque in the handwriting of the Kangxi Emperor which reads "The Everlasting Cypress Grove" (Wangubailin) hangs on the fa?ade of the Mahavira Hall, while statues of the Buddhas of the Three Worlds are found inside. Behind this hall is the Hall of Vimalakirti, containing seven carved and gilded Buddha images dating from the Ming Dynasty.

To the east of the main hall is an auxiliary hall containing two large bronze bells 2.6 metes tall cast in 1707. Their surfaces were cast with bas-reliefs of coiling dragons and a mantra to be intoned after a person's death in the hope of gaining passage to the Pure Land.

Among the valuable relics in the temple are a complete set of printing blocks for the Tripitaka carved in the early 18th century. The collection has 7,240 volumes with a total of 78,230 separate blocks. Carved of high-grade pear wood, the blocks remain in fine condition today except for some minor cracks. The work of carving took six years to complete and was begun in 1733 during the reign of the Yongzheng Emperor. However, fewer than 200 copies of the Tripitaka were printed during the ensuing 300 years, one reason why the blocks remain in excellent condition.

The blocks were originally stored in the Hall of Military Eminence (Wuyingdian) in the Palace Museum, but were later transferred back to the temple. They are presently being cared for under the supervision of the Beijing Library.

Bailin_Temple_2.jpgBailin_Temple_3.jpg

Bailin_Temple_4.jpgBailin_Temple_5.jpg

Information
The Bailin Temple is located in Dongcheng District, Beijing. The postal address is: 1 Xilou Hutong, Beixinqiao, Dongcheng District, Beijing

Mosted Asked Questions about Bailin Temple

Questions & Answers or Review
* Full Name
* E-mail
* Title of your review
* Your review
 

The following Beijing Private Tours may also interest you!

Duration:7 - 8 hours

Attractions(Cities):Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace

Tour Style:Immerse yourself in the Historic city of Beijing during a full-day tour of the city’s most significant historical sites: Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Tian’anmen Square and the Summer Palace. The four sightseeing spots provide great insight into the palace life and the imperial court ceremonials of more than 600 years ago. Convenient round-trip transportation from your Beijing hotel/Airport/Train station is included. It is an ideal trip during your stort stay in Beijing!

View Details
From $79 p/p

Duration:6-8 hours

Attractions(Cities):Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven, Nanluoguxiang Hutong (optional: rickshaw ride,family visiting)

Tour Style:This is a private tour that allows you to visit the most famous tourist sites in Beijing and you will go around the buzzing Nanluoguxiang Hutongs either by rickshaw (Optional) and on foot on this tour. You will see the local families, eat an authentic local lunch and learn some Beijing folk arts, learning about the area’s history and having an authentic picture of Beijing. Convenient round-trip transportation from your Beijing hotel/Airport/Train station is included.

View Details
From $80 p/p

Duration:2 Days, 1 Night

Attractions(Cities):Temple of Heaven, Forbidden City, Tian'anmen Square, Mutianyu Great Wall, Summer Palace, Nanluoguxiang Hutong, Optional activities: Legend of Kung Fu Show; Peking duck Dinner

Tour Style:Join an expert guide for a private tour of Beijing’s most fascinating destinations and UNESCO Sites, from the Forbidden City to the Mutianyu section of the Great Wall of China. Take the stress out of planning transport by having hotel/Airport/Train station pickup and drop-off included. Flexible tour with a choice to enjoy an evening show or eat an authentic Chinese delicacy – Peking duck to enhance the tour experience.

View Details
From $195 p/p

Duration:8 hours

Attractions(Cities):Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Summer Palace, Nanluoguxiang Hutong, Peking Duck Lunch

Tour Style:This all-inclusive full day guided tour is particularly for first-time visitors who don’t speak Chinese visiting all the highlights in Beijing. Say no to hustlers and discover the city by private car on this door-to-door private tour. Followed by a classic Peking Duck lunch, prepared in time-honored style, at one of Beijing's well-known roast duck restaurants for locals.

View Details
From $95 p/p

Duration:8 Hours

Attractions(Cities):Forbidden City, Mutianyu Great Wall

Tour Style:Make the most of a long Beijing layover—don't sit in the airport, go sightseeing instead. If you have at least 10 hours between flights, check off not one but two UNESCO World Heritage sites on this private guided tour. Skip the long lines at Mutianyu Great Wall, you will ave the opportunity to step back in time and walk the Great Wall, then enjoy priority access to the Forbidden City before returning to Beijing Airport to continue your adventures.

View Details
From $95 p/p

Live Chat

Certificate of Excellence
2012~2022

tripadvisor

Beijing Private Tour-Day Tour

Your Idea of Your Trip
Adults:
(>11 years old)
Children:
(2 - 11 years old)
Babies:
(< 2 years old)
Date of trip
Hotel Class
Any specific requests/interests?
Contact Information

(Your Privacy is Protected)

Full Name: *
E-mail: *
Your Age: *
Nationality: *
Contact Phone Number: *
Submit

Tailor-Made

1 to 1 tailor-made service from our professional travel advisors for the most sophisticated

Authentic

Constantly excellent reviews for attraction, hotel and service Competitive price

Value Guarantee

Local experts provide quality tours Best selected knowledgeable local guides Authentic local restaurants

Stress-free Guaranteed

7*24 hours available to create you a worry-free tour. No Hidden Fees and absolutely no pressure to buy. Secured

Who choose us

Copyright © 2017 Chinabeijingprivatetour.com All rights reserved.  浙ICP备18056007号-2     Our Partner - Travel Makeup Bags Wholesale Provider