sights / Religious

Bādàchù information

admission Y10
Opening hours
6am-6pm, later in summer
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Lonely Planet review

Named after the eight nunneries and monasteries scattered through its attractive wooded valleys, Bādàchù is an invigoratingly hilly area in the west of Běijīng. Topped with a glittering golden spire, the 13-eaved green tiled brick Língguāng Temple Pagoda (Língguāng Sì Tǎ) is also known as the Buddha's Tooth Relic Pagoda; it was built to house a sacred tooth accidentally discovered when the allied powers demolished the place in 1900.

Follow the path up past the small and simple Sānshān Nunnery (Sānshān Ān) to the Dàbēi Temple (大悲寺; Dàbēi Sì), famed for its 18 arhats (Buddhists who have achieved enlightenment) in the Great Treasure Hall (Dàxióngbǎo Diàn) which were carved by Liu Yuan, a Yuan-dynasty sculptor. Made from a composite of sand and sandalwood, the effigies are over 700 years old. The exterior walls of the hall itself are decorated with slogans from the Cultural Revolution glorifying the supremacy of the Communist Party.

Further slogans adorn the gate to Lóngquán Nunnery (Lóngquán Ān; 龙泉庵). Peek into the Lóngwáng Hall (Lóngwáng Táng) where the Dragon King sits with huge, round black eyes. The largest of all the temples is Xiāngjiè Temple (Xiāngjiè Sì).

The mountain has plentiful apricot trees, which makes for some cheerful and sweet-smelling scenery around April when the trees briefly bloom. As with other sights, it is inadvisable to visit at weekends, which are busy. A cable car exists for trips to the top of the hill (Y20) and a toboggan (Y40) can sweep you down again. A fast way to reach Bādàchù is to take the underground to Píngguǒyuán station and then jump on bus 958 or 389; alternatively, get bus 347 from the zoo.