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Religious Tours

During their 20 centuries of development, Buddhism and Taoism have exerted great influence on China's politics, economy, social life, literature and arts, music and dance, painting, architecture and philosophy. The most intact temples and mosques are located on famous mountains throughout the country. Combined with beautiful natural surroundings, these places of worship are attractive places for travelers nowadays.

Temple of the Sleeping Buddha

Located at the southern foot of Shouan Hill, at the edge of the Western Hills in Beijing, the Temple of Universal Awakening is well known for its Recumbent Buddha. The statue of the Recumbent Buddha was cast in the first two years of the reign of Zhi Shun of Yuan dynasty (1330 - 1331). With the bronze statue of Sakyamuni attaining Nirvana in a recumbent position, the temple is popularly called Wofosi (Temple of Recumbent Buddha).

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Yonghe Lamasery

Lama Temple (Yonghe Palace)
Located on the Yonghegong Street in the Dongcheng District of Beijing, the Lama Temple is the most colorful temple in the city. The Lama Temple is the most renowned Tibetan Buddhist temple outside Tibet. The temple was built in the thirty-third year of Qing emperor Kanxi rule. At that time it was the official residence of Count Yin Zhen. In 1725 Yin Zhen was promoted to emperor and moved to the Forbidden City. His name was changed to Yong Zhen. He named his former residence Yonghe Palace. The green tiles were changed to yellow - the imperial color. In the 9th year of Emperor Qianlongs reign, the place was converted into a lamasery.

The Lama Temple is a complex of magnificent buildings. Many precious religious cultural objects are kept in the temple. It is also the place where important religious ceremonies are held for public viewing.

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Temple of poor and Three -Bristle Cudrania

Located in Mentougou District, the Tanzhe Temple is built on the slope of the Western Hill. The temple is the largest of all the temples in Beijing, occupying an area of 68 thousand square meters. The name Tanzhe means Pool and Cudrania. It was so named, because there was the Dragon Pool at the back of the temple and some rare Cudrania trees around the temple. The buildings in the temple, constructed on the mountain slope, represent Chinese traditional architectural design - dragon decorations and mythical animal sculptures. The temple has a number of trees of more than one hundred years, stone steles dating back to the Jin Dynasty (1115 - 1234), and stupas.

Located on the Yonghegong Street in the Dongcheng District of Beijing, the Lama Temple is the most colorful temple in the city. The Lama Temple is the most renowned Tibetan Buddhist temple outside Tibet. The temple was built in the thirty-third year of Qing emperor Kanxi rule. At that time it was the official residence of Count Yin Zhen. In 1725 Yin Zhen was promoted to emperor and moved to the Forbidden City. His name was changed to Yong Zhen. He named his former residence Yonghe Palace. The green tiles were changed to yellow - the imperial color. In the 9th year of Emperor Qianlongs reign, the place was converted into a lamasery.

The Lama Temple is a complex of magnificent buildings. Many precious religious cultural objects are kept in the temple. It is also the place where important religious ceremonies are held for public viewing.

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White Cloud Temple

Located outside the west moat, the White Cloud Temple was once the Taoist center in North China. It is now where Chinas Taoist Association is located. The temple is the largest Taoist temple complex, covering an area of ten thousand square meters, with 150 houses. The temple consists of a number of courtyards. All the main halls are on the axis. The temple houses large numbers of Taoist scriptures, statues and steles. It is the most important place for the study of Chinas Taoism. The Ming Dynasty block-printed edition of Collected Taoist Scriptures, 5,350 volumes in all, is a precious document.

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Jiuhuan Mountain

Jiuhuashan Mountain (Nine Lotus Mountain)
Jiuhuashan Mountain, situated in the southwestern part of Qingyang County, Anhui Province is one of the four Buddhist sacred Mountains. It is more than 100 kilometers long, covering an area of 334 square kilometers. It has many scenic spots including 99 peaks, 9 of which are well known. The highest peak Shiwang Peak is 1,342 meters above sea level. Jiuhuashan is also famous for its Buddhist cultural relics. There are now 78 existing temples, more than 6,000 Buddhist statues, and over 300 monks and nuns. Famous temples include Wannian Temple (Perpetuity Temple), Ganlu Monastery (Sweet Dew Monastery) and Huacheng Monastery.

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Huacheng Temple

Huacheng Monastery, the first Buddhist temple in Jiuhua Mountain, was the place to enshrine Buddha Ksitigarbha (Guardian of the Earth) in the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907). Now the Display Room of Jiuhua Mountain Relics is located in the monastery. It houses more than 6,777 volumes of Buddhist scriptures, and many cultural relics and paintings by celebrated people. The monastery has been destroyed several time by fire. Most of the buildings in the monastery were reconstructed in the Qing Dynasty.

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The hall to keep remains of Buddhas

Yueshen Hall, situated on Shenguang Peak, is a magnificent building. In the hall there is a 7-floor wooden pagoda 17 meters high. On each floor are 8 Buddha statues on shrines. According to legend in the tenth year of the reign of Zhenyuan of the Tang Dynasty the Xinluo King passed away here. His disciples built the pagoda to commemorate him. The pagoda has been rebuilt several times. The present one was rebuilt in the reign of Tongzhi Emperor of the Qing Dynasty

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Tiantai Temple

Tiantai Temple, also known as the Temple of Ksitigarbha, is on the summit of the Sky Terrace Peak, 1,321 meters above sea level. The temple was built in the Ming Dynasty. The 5-storied temple houses a large number of Buddhist statues and wooden sculptures.

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Lianhua Peak and Tianzhu Peak

Huangshan Mountain in east Chinas Anhui province is one of Chinas best-known scenic spots, celebrated for having all the wonders of mountain scenery characterized by spectacular rocky peaks, odd-shaped pines, crystal-clear mountain springs and seas of clouds. Known as the No. 1 Mountain Under heaven, it possesses of distinguished features. The main peak Lianhua Peak is 1,840 meters above sea level. There is plentiful rainfall in Huangshan Mountain. Therefore there are thick forests. Natural scenery in the area changes beyond prediction. Xu Xiake, a noted Chinese traveler, praised Huangshan Mountain as the best of all mountains.

In December,1990 The Huangshan Mountain was listed in the Chronology of Recognition of World Heritages in China.

Beihai in Huangshan

Beihai Scenic Area is in the central part of Huangshan Mountain. It is a good place to view the sunrise and sunset. There are the Pai Yun (Cloud Dispersing) Pavilion, the Shi Xin (Seeing is Believing ) Peak - the most elegant and refined one of the 72 peaks, Shisun Peak (Bamboo Shoot Peak), and Qingliangtai (Refreshing Platform).

Shixin Peak in Huangshan (Seeing is Believing Peak)
Shixin Peak, in eastern Huangshan Mountain, attracts the greatest number of tourists. People say of it : The beauty of Huangshan is unbelievable until you reach this peak. That is why it is named Seeing is Believing Peak. The deep chasm below Shixin Peak is the home of the Huangshan Monkey.

Lianhua Peak in Huangshan (Lotus Flower Peak)
Lianhua Peak, the highest peak in Huangshan Mountain, is 1,860 meters above sea level. It is shaped like a lotus flower in blossom, with steep slopes and rocky peaks around. On top of the peak is a boat shaped rock named Boat for Picking Lotus Seeds. Tourists, standing here, look around as if they were reaching the sky.

Yuping Pavilion in Huangshan (Jade Screen Pavilion)
Yuping Pavilion, 1,680 meters above sea level, is known as the Jade Screen of Heaven. It offers an excellent view of the whole mountain. A unique experience here is to watch white clouds drift below after rain, when picturesque mountain peaks, fantastic rock formations and green pines are enveloped in mist, with only their tops showing. In front of the pavilion there are the Guest-greeting and Farewell Pines.

Tiandu Peak in Huangshan
Tiandu Peak, at the height of 1,810 meters, is fascinating. It has the most precipitous view. The name Tiandu means Heavenly Capital. A traveler who failed to reach the top sighed as he composed this poem : How I wish I could ride a crane some day

To view the sea of clouds over Tiandu Peak

The top of the peak is flat with a natural cave, which can hold more than one hundred people. The saying goes: without reaching Jade Screen Pavilion, a panoramic view of the mountain is impossible; without climbing Tiandu Peak, your trip is in vain.

Feilai Rock (Fallen Rock from Sky)

In the west part of Huangshan Mountain, there is a huge rock on the Feilai Peak. The rock is 10 meters high, standing alone on top of the peak. The base of the rock is separated from the peak. So it looks as if it had fallen from the sky. As the rock is shaped like a pear, it is also named Pear Peak.

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Wutai Mountain

The Wutai Mountain, situated in the northeastern corner of Wutai County , is one of the four major Buddhist mountain sanctuaries in China. As the legend says, this mountain was the place where Buddhist ceremonies were held in as early as the Han Dynasty (206 BC - 220 AD). During the years that followed, a large number of buildings were constructed in this area. Now one can still find more than 40 temples and monasteries scattering in the mountain area.

The Wutai Mountain is famous for its beautiful surroundings, with trees covering ancient temples and monasteries. The buildings look exceptionally impressive, and the stone carvings are of superb craftsmanship. The painted sculptures are of various shapes and types and no two sculptures are of the same kind.

The Grand Hall of the Foguang Temple on the Mountain are wood structures built during the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907 AD); as the earliest of their kind in this country, they share an important position in world and Chinese architecture history.

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Xiantong Temple

The Xiantong Monastery,situated north of Taihuai County, Wutai Mountain, is the largest one in the Wutai Mountain area. The monastery consists of more than 400 halls, towers and houses.

Construction of the monastery was started during the period of the East Han Dynasty (58 - 75 AD). It was one of the key Buddhist centers at that time. Presently the buildings one can see were rebuilt in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. The layout of the buildings are symmetrical, all the big halls are arranged on the axis, and the houses for the monks are on both side of the axis.

The Mahavira Hall, the main hall in the monastery, is the place where Buddhist activities take place. Further behind the Mahavira Hall, there are the Wuliang Hall (Beamless Hall) and the Bronze Hall. The Wuliang Hall is a brick structure, while the Bronze Hall is made of bronze.

On the bonze walls, there are ten thousand small Buddhist statues. Those two buildings are masterpieces of Chinese architectural art.

The Xiantong Monastery preserves a fine collection of articles of historical value. The Hougao Hall is now used as a exhibition room for cultural relic display. Outside the monastery there is a Bell Tower which houses a huge bronze bell, 2.5 meters high, 10 cm thick and 1.6 meters in diameter. More than ten thousand Chinese characters in the Kai style are carved on the surface of the bell. The bell weighs 9,999.5 Jin.

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Puhua Temple

Situated on the Wutai Mountain, the Puhua Monastery is another tourist attraction. The original year for its construction is unknown. In the Ming and Qing dynasties the monastery was rebuilt several times. Early this century, the Imperial Tower was built in the monastery. Therefore, the monastery was then called the Jade Imperial Temple.

In front of the monastery, there is a brick screen wall facing the gate. Inside the monastery there are the Heavenly King Hall, the Mahavira Hall, the Imperial Tower and a number of buildings, which are properly located. The buildings in the monastery are famous for the wood carving decoration.

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Puduo Mountain

Mt. Putuo Scenic Area
The scenic spot is on an island at the southeast end of the Zhoushan Archipelago, on which there is a mountain called Mt. Putuo. The island, 12.5 square kilometers in size, has been a famous tourist attraction owing to the dense woods, golden sands, rugged reefs that cover it and particularly to Mt. Putuo which is one of the four well -known Buddhist mountains in China.

It is said that in the second year ( 916 AD) of the reign of Emperor Zhenming of Later Liang of the Five Dynasties Period, Hui'e, a Japanese monk built the Temple of Avalokitesvara on the mountain, and ever since Mt Putuo has become the place for people to worship Avalokitesvara. Later many other temples were successively built here, and in the peak of its development there were as many as 200 temples and convents with more than 4000 monks and nuns. Most of the temples existant were the structures built in the Qing Dynasty, of which Puji, Fayu and Huiji are the biggest. Besides, there are more than 20 other places of interest, such as Qianbusha, Chaoyin Cave, Fanyin Cave, Southern Heavenly Gate, Western Heavenly Gate, and so on. Therefore Mt. Putuo has the fame of "A Buddhist Country of Sea and Heaven".

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Fayu Temple

The Fayu Temple, located on the left top of the Baihua Hill, is one of the three biggest temples on Mt. Putuo. The temple was built in 1580 in the Ming Dynasty and added with the main hall in the 38th year (1699 AD) of the reign of Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty. Emperor Kangxi bestowed a horizontal tablet inscribed with four characters of "Tian Hua Fa Yu", hence the name of the temple. There are now 294 halls and rooms, occupying a floor space of 8800 square meters. The whole temple is arranged on a six-layer mound which starts ascending from the temple gate. At the front of the central axis is the Hall of Heavenly King, at the rear the Hall of Jade Buddha and between the two the Bell-Drum Tower. Behind, there are Hall of Avalokitesvara, Hall of Mahavira, Buddhist Scriptures Building, and Hall of Buddhist Abbot. The Hall of Avalokitesvara is also called Hall of Nine Dragons as carved exquisitely and vividly on the walls of the hall are nine dragon

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Puji Temple

One of the three biggest temples on Mt. Putuo with its location at the south of Baihua Peak, Puji Temple was built in the 3rd year ( 1080 AD) of the reign of Emperor of Yuanfeng of the Song Dynasty. The existant main halls were built in the 9th year (1731 AD) of the reign of Emperor Yongzheng of the Qing Dynasty. There are altogether over 200 halls, pavilions and rooms including Hall of Heavenly King, Hall of Yuantong, Building of Buddhist Scriptures, Hall of Abbot, etc. The Hall of Yuantong is the main building in Puji Temple, and also the most important hall for the whole Mt. Putuo, in which there is the statue of Avalokitesvara. Emperor Ningzong of the Song Dynasty appointed Mt.Putuo to be the place for performing Buddhist rites and worshing Bodihisattva Guanyin, i.e., Avalokitesvara. On Febuary 19, June 19, and Semtemper 19 ( the above are said to be the dates for Avalokitesvara to be born, become a Buddha, and leave the family) every year, thousands of people come to Mt. Putuo fram afar to worship and pray Avalokitesvara. On both sides of the hall there are 32 reincarnations of Avalokitesvara, as legend has it that Avalokitesvara was infinitely powerful that she would grant whatever is requested.

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Huiji Temple

The Huiji Temple has another name of the Temple of Foding Hill as it is atop the Foding Hill. Originally here was a stone pavilion inside which there was a statue of Buddha until the Ming Dynasty when a nun named Huiyuan built a convent called Huiji Convent. The convent was changed to be a temple only after Hall of Yuantong, Hall of Jade Emperor, Building of Infinite Mercy, etc. were built in the 58th year (1793 AD) of the reign of Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty. After the 33rd year( 1907 AD) of the reign of Emperor Guangxu of the Qing Dynasty when tri-pitaka was called in the temple expanded to the present size and became one of the three biggest temples on Mt. Putuo. The temple is surrounded by many ancient trees, some of which are rare valuable plants for viewing and admiration.. To the southeast of the temple is the Baihua Peak on which there is a beacon for nevigation. On the southern cliff of the hill inscribed are four big characters: "Buddhist Country of Sea and Heaven" which can be seen far away in the sea.

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Zhoushan She Family Temple

Shenjiamen is a fishing harbour in the southeastern part of Zhoushan Island, where the administrative offices of the government of the Putuo District of Zhoushan Municipality is located. Legend has it that once there was a minister whose family name was Shen who was buried here according the imperial edict. Hence the name of the place. Shenjiamen, which has enjoyed the fame of the Capital of Fishing, and Callao Harbour of Peru and Bergen Harbour of Norway are the three biggiest harbour in the world. The annual output of sea fish here accouts for 1/10 and the commercial fish 1/2 of those of the whole country. Dring the fishing season one can see thousands of fishing boats that gather here, scattering on the five-kilometer coastal waters to form a world of boats. In the evening countless lights are winkling and casting reflections in the water, presenting a really magnificent sight and a scenery of beauty which can rarly be found elsewhere.

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E'mei Mountain : Baoguo Temple, Wannian Temple, Oingyin Pavilion

Emeishan (Mount Emei), located in a medieval time warp, receives a steady stream of pilgrims with their straw hats, makeshift baggage, walking canes and fans. It is one of the four sacred Buddhist mountains in China. On the mountain there are many sites of ancient Buddhist activities. Ever since the introduction of Buddhism into China, Buddhist building have been built on the mountain. There are more than one hundred temples and monasteries. Now the main attraction spots include the Baoguo Temple, Fuhu Temple, Leiyin Temple and many other spots. In 1996, Emeishan and the Grand Buddha in Leshan were included in the lists of the world Famous Cultural Relics.

Baoguo Monastery
This monastery was built in the 16th century, enlarged in the 17th century by Emperor Kangxi, and rebuilt in recent years. Its 3.5 meter porcelain Buddha, made in 1415, is housed near the Sutra Library. To the left of the gate is a rockery for potted miniature trees and rare plants.

Wannian Monastery
The temple, 1,043 meters above sea level, was built in the 4th century. It was burned several times in the following centuries. The present brick building was reconstructed in the Ming Dynasty. The rest existing buildings were built after liberation. The Brick Hall, a domed building with small stupas on it, was built of bricks. In the hall is a statue of the bodhisattva Puxian on a white elephant, 8.5 meters high, cast in copper and bronze. It weighs estimated 62,000 kilograms.

Qingyin Tower
Qingyin Tower, 800 meters above sea level, was built in the 4th century. It is one of the famous scenic spots on Emeishan . Under the tower is the "Double Flying Bridge", under which flows two streams.

Golden Summit
At 3077 meters, the magnificent Golden Summit Temple is as far as most hikers make it. Covered with glazed tile and surrounded by white marble balustrades, it now occupies an area of 1,695 square meters. The original temple had a bronze-coated roof, which is how it got the name Jinding "Golden Top" as well as "Golden Summit".

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Leshan Buddha

Leshan Dafo (Giant Buddha)
This gigantic stone sculpture of Maitreya sitting against the Jifeng Peak of Lingyun Mountain faces west above the rushing river and looks at Mount Emei. The huge statue not only represents the brilliant civilization of ancient China but is the largest ancient sculpture in the world. Well proportioned and truly majestic, the 71-meter Great Buddha is 18 meters higher than the big buddha in Afghanistan. The sculpture was finished in 803. It is so big that one hundred people can assemble on one of its feet, and a dinner table can be set up on the nail of its big toe.

In December,1996 The Mount Emei and the Giant Buddha of Leshan was listed in the Chronology of Recognition of World Heritages in China.

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Longhu Mountain

Mount Long-Hu (Mount Dragon and Tiger) in Yingtan
Twenty kilometers south of Yingtan is a famous mountain recognized as a sacred mountain of Taoism. That is Mount Long-Hu meaning Mount Dragon and Tiger, which is now classified as state protection park.

The name Dragon and Tiger was given because there are two peaks standing face to face as the dragon and tiger glaring at each other. In this areas there are 99 peaks and 66 scenic spots. Shangqing River flows in the mountains passing though all the main scenic spots. According to the legend the founder of Chinese Taoism Zhang Ling (the first Taoist Master) once stayed here and conducted Taoist activities. From then on Mount Long-Hu became an important place for Taoist activities for 1,900 years.

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Mansion of Taoist Zhang

Heavenly Masters Mansion
Located in Shangqing County, Yingtan, the Heavenly Masters Mansion used to be the residence of Taoist masters. The mansion was built in the year of Yongjia of the Western Jin Dynasty (307 - 313). It was renovated several times in the later years. Now the mansion occupies an area of 6,000 square meters with a complex of buildings. Presently there are three halls, three courtyards and more than 500 houses.

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Wudang Mountain : Golden Hall, Nanyan Palace, Zixiao Palace

Wudangshan Mountain Scenic Area
Wudangshan Mountain, located in the northwest of Hubei, covers an area of more than 30 square kilometers. It is now classified as National Park. Wudangshan has 72 peaks with steep valleys and beautiful scenery. The main peak, Tian Zhu Peak (Heaven Column), is 1,612 meters above sea level.

Wudangshan is known as a sacred mountain of the Taoism. Famous Taoist masters in history used to reside here. In as early as the Tang Dynasty, people built the Five Dragon Temple. In the following dynasties the buildings on the mountain were expanded. During the reign of the Ming Emperor Chengzu, large numbers of soldiers and laborers were hired to carry out large scale construction project. Now there are 36 palace halls, which were built in the Ming Dynasty. These buildings are the largest existing Taoist complex, in which various sculptures, scriptures and Taoist items are of high cultural and artistic value.

Zixiao Palace (Purple Sky Palace)
Zixiao Palace, located on Tian Zhu Peak of the Wudangshan Mountain, was built in the year of 1413. It is the best preserved existing palace in the mountain. The main attractions in the palace include the Dragon and Tiger Hall, the Purple Sky Hall, the East Hall, the West Hall and the Prince Cliff.

Nanyan is known as the most spectacular place of the 36 scenic places in Wudangshan. In as early as the Tang and Song dynasties, Taoist priests practiced Taoism here, and they built Taoist temples. In history there were more than 600 buildings in Nanyan. Most of them were destroyed in the late years of the Qing Dynasty. Now there are the Nanyan Palace, Taichang Temple, Thunder God Cave and Crow Temple.

Jindian (Golden Palace Hall)
On top of the Tian Zhu Peak of Wudangshan is Jindian, meaning Golden Palace. The hall was built in 1416, the 14th year of the reign of Emperor Yongle of the Ming Dynasty. The hall is 5.54 meters in height, 4.4 meters in width and 3.15 meters in depth. The hall is of complete gilded bronze structure. After more than 500 years, the hall still glitters under the sun as new. It is one of the wonders of Chinese ancient architecture.

In December,1994 The Ancient Architecture in Wudang Mountain was listed in the Chronology of Recognition of World Heritages in China.

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Ta'er Lamawsery

Taer (Kumbum) Lamasery
The Taer Lamasery, situated in Lushaer Town, Huangzhong County 25 kilometers south of Xining, is the birth place of Tsongkapa, founder of the Yellow Sect (Gelugpa) of Tibetan Bhuddism. The complex is one of the six major lamaseries of the sect. Built on a mountain slope, the lamasery, which includes the Big Golden Tile Palace, Small Golden Tile Palace and the Big Scripture Hall, etc., is a perfect combination of Tibetan and Han architectural styles. In the Big Golden Tile Palace, a gilded niche holds a clay statue of Tsongkapa. The butter sculpture, mural, and appliques (piled embroidery) are known as the lamaserysthree wonders of art. On the fifteenth day of the first lunar month, the LanternFestival, the lamasery holds an exhibition of buttersculptures, which has become a major tourist attraction.

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Potala Palace

Potala Palace of Lhasa
The Potala Palace, standing atop a cliff more than 3700 meters above sea level, is a 13-story palace complex. It is one of the architectural wonders of the world. The palace was built in the seventh century by King Songtsan Gambo, unifier of Tibet, for his bride , the Han nationality Princess Wen Cheng, who was sent to him by the Tang dynasty emperor. Potala Palace occupies an area of 41 hectares, with the 13-storied main building rising 115 meters high. The complex is of stone and wood structure. The upper structure of the place is of wood. The roofs of the main buildings are in traditional Han architectural style with upturned eaves, tinkling bells at each corner and gilded yellow tiles.

The Potala Palace consists of two sections: the Red Palace in the center, used for religious functions and the White Palace on both side, used as the living quarters of Dalai Lama.

In December,1994 The Potala Palace of Lhasa was listed in the Chronology of Recognition of World Heritages in China.

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Situated in the west suburb of Lhasa, Norbu Lingka, meaning Jewel Park, used to be the summer residence of the Dalai Lama. The Seventh Dalai Lama put up the first summer palace in 1755 and each successive Dalai Lama added his own buildings. From the fourth month to the Ninth month of the Tibetan year, Dalai Lama would move to this summer palace and handle administrative affairs here.

The palace, with an area of 360 thousand square meters, consists of the palace area and the woods area, the latter occupying half the space of Norbu Linka. The main buildings include the new Summer Palace, the Old Summer palace, the Kasang Temple and a zoo.

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Jokhang Temple

The Jokhang Temple, situated is in the center of Lhasa,was built in 647 AD. It was built to commemorate the marriage of the Tang princess Wen Cheng to King Songtsen Gampo. After being renovated and expanded in the following years, it has become a grand building complex. The temple occupies an area of 25,000 square meters, with more than 20 palace halls. The four-storied golden roofed building is in the Tang Dynasty style blended with Nepalese and Indian architectural features. The main hall houses a gilded bronze statue of 12-year-old Sakyamuni, which was brought by princess Wen Cheng from Xian (capital of Tang Dynasty). On both sides in the hall stand statues of Princess Wen Cheng and King Songtsen Gampo.

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Sera Monastery

About four km north of Lhasa at the base of Mount Peibuqie, the Sera Monastery was founded in 1419 by disciple of Tsong Khapa. Sera means Merciful Hail in contrast with the Rice Heap (Drepung). Sera was smaller than Drepung, with fewer monks. The Sera Monastery had three colleges. The chanting halls in the colleges contain precious cultural relics and more than ten thousand images of Vajrapani carved by local Tibetan artisans and many bronze Buddhist statues brought back from Chinas interior and India.

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Tashilhunbu Monastery

Trashilhunpo Monastery at Xigaze
Located in the south of Nyioeri Mountain west of Xigaze, the monastery was first built in 1447 under the guidance of the First Dalai Lama Gedun Chubba, a disciple of Zongkaba of the Gelugba (Yellow Hat). As one of the four great monasteries of Gelungba in Tibet, it was listed as one of the historical monuments and cultural relics under state protection.

Inside the monastery there are more than 50 scripture halls and more than 3,600 monk quarters. The main structure, located at the top, has three parts. The upper part of the west side is the Hall of Buddha Maitreya (known as Buddha Qamba in Tibet) and is 30 meters high. Being the largest and highest indoor bronze statue of Buddha in the world, the Buddha Qamba is 26.2 meters high and made of pure bronze, weighing 115,000 kilometers.

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  Information provided by China National Tourism Administration.


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