Pǔtuózōngchéng Temple

sights / Religious

Pǔtuózōngchéng Temple information

Chéngdé , China
Address
Street Shizigou Lu
Prices
admission Apr-Oct ¥80, Nov-Mar ¥60
Opening hours
8am-6pm Apr-Oct, 8.30am-5pm Nov-Mar
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Lonely Planet review

Chéngdé’s largest temple is a not-so-small replica of Lhasa’s Potala Palace and houses the nebulous presence of Avalokiteshvara (Guanyin). A marvellous sight on a clear day, the temple’s red walls stand out against its mountain backdrop. Enter to a huge stele pavilion, followed by a large triple archway topped with five small stupas in red, green, yellow, white and black. In between the two gates are two large stone elephants whose knees bend impossibly.

Fronted by a collection of prayer wheels and flags, the Red Palace (also called the Great Red Platform) contains most of the main shrines and halls. Continue up past an exhibition of thangka (sacred Tibetan paintings) in a restored courtyard and look out for the marvellous sandalwood pagodas in the front hall. Both are 19m tall and contain 2160 effigies of the Amitabha Buddha.

Among the many exhibits on view are displays of Tibetan Buddhist objects and instruments, including a kapala bowl, made from the skull of a young girl. The main hall is located at the very top, surrounded by several small pavilions and panoramic views.

The admission ticket includes the neighbouring Temple of Sumeru, Happiness and Longevity. Bus 118 (¥1) runs along Huancheng Beilu past the temple.