Seemingly continuously under renovation, this Liao dynasty temple features the largest Tibetan pagoda (also called chorten, dagoba, or stupa) in China, towering over the neighborhood at 51m (167 ft.) tall. A Nepali architect built it over 700 years ago (completed 1279) by order of Kublai Khan, one of the first Mongols to convert to Tibetan Buddhism. Originally known as Miao Ying Si, the temple has undergone numerous reconstructions, usually as a result of fire. The Dajue Dian (Hall of the Great Enlightened Ones), the first building, contains thousands of little Buddhas in glass cases, set into the columns. An earthquake in 1976 turned up numerous artifacts, some of which are now on display in the museum. You'll find Buddhist statuary demonstrating ritualistic hand positions (mudra) and vivid thangka (silk hangings depicting Buddhist images).
- © Frommer's 2013
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- tel: 010/6616-0211
- Fucheng Men Nei Dajie 171
- Xi Cheng Qu (a 10-min. walk east from the metro stop)
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