Putuozongcheng Temple

Top choice in Hebei

Also known as Potala (布达拉, Bùdálā), Chengde’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.

Fronted by a collection of prayer wheels and flags, the Red Palace contains most of the main shrines and halls. 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) goes here from in front of Mountain Villa Hotel.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Hebei attractions

1. Temple of Sumeru, Happiness & Longevity

0.41 MILES

This huge temple was built in honour of the sixth Panchen Lama, who stayed here in 1781. Incorporating Tibetan and Chinese architectural elements, it’s an…

2. Chengde Museum

0.78 MILES

This new, ultra-modern, strikingly good-looking museum wasn't quite finished at the time of research, but will be opening very soon and is set to showcase…

3. Bìshǔ Shānzhuāng

0.88 MILES

The imperial summer resort is composed of a main palace complex with vast, parklike gardens, all enclosed by a handsome 10km-long wall. The entrance price…

4. Puning Temple

1.03 MILES

With its squeaking prayer wheels and devotional intonations of its monks, this is Chengde’s only active Buddhist temple. It was built in 1755 in…

5. Yongyousi Pagoda

1.05 MILES

This wonderfully elegant 250-year-old pagoda soars above the fragments of its vanished temple in the northeast of the imperial summer resort of Bishu…

6. Puyou Temple

1.09 MILES

Housed within the grounds of Puning Temple, on the east side, is this dilapidated temple. Though its main hall is long gone, it has a number of gilded…

7. Wenjin Pavilion

1.18 MILES

Built in 1773, this pavilion sits in the grounds of the imperial summer resort of Bishu Shanzhuang (避暑山庄; Imperial Villa).

8. Anyuan Temple

1.33 MILES

A copy of the former Gurza Temple on Xinjiang's western border, this rarely visited complex dates back to 1764, built to commemorate the Qianlong emperor…