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The Significance Of The Lama Temple (yonghegong Monastery) Of Beijing (Research Paper Sample)


Based on your research, write a paper approximately 10 pages long (double spaced) about what you have learned. You may discuss your original questions as well as any new questions that arose as you worked on the topic. If you need more or fewer pages to adequately present your research it is not necessary to stick to ten. Cite your sources using a standardized system (for example, the Chicago Manual of Style or one familiar to you from your discipline).


The Significance of The Lama Temple Of Beijing
The Significance of the Lama Temple Of Beijing
Lama Temple, also known as Yonghegong (Palace of Harmony and Peace), is popularly known as the largest and most important Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Beijing. It is a multifaceted and complex site whose long history has a lot to tell. Since 1964, what is currently referred to as Lama temple has evolved both physically and functionally. It was initially an imperial prince's residence, and over time it has been used as a traveling palace, ancestral shrine, and a Tibetan Buddhist monastic college. Today, Lama Temple serves as a historical site, monastery, and a monastic college. It is located in a vast yard with numerous golden-colored halls and courtyards marked by tree lines. More interesting, the compound consists of a wide range of both splendid and delicate to the huge and spectacular artworks. The temple is normally packed with visitors and pilgrims every day of the week. The site serves an important role as a religious site to the people of Beijing and as a representation of the Qing dynasty's history and prowess in architecture and art.
Lama Temple symbolizes the harmonious multicultural nature of the People's Republic of China. The contemporary use of the Lama Temple as a Tibetan Buddhist monastery and other historical differences sees most attention directed to the religious messages instead of interconnecting various components to achieve a collective picture of the whole site. In this case, most of the original and unified message in Yonghegong site is overlooked. The overall unified message in Lama Temple is firmly interconnected with aspects of historical politics, religion, and art. This paper aims at investigating the historical, artistic, and religious significance of the Lama Temple to the contemporary Beijing residents, the People's Republic of China, and the world in general. It begins by highlighting the physical character and development history of the site in the context of Qing dynasty and contemporary Beijing.
Lama Temple is found in Dongcheng district, northeast of Beijing. It is characterized by its unique halls whose arrangement aligns with the North-South axis. The main halls include The Hall of Heavenly Kings, The Hall of Harmony and Peace, The Hall of Everlasting Protection, and The Hall of The Wheel of Law (Bradstock, 2005). Each of these halls has its specific purpose in the temple and contains a particular statue(s) with a specific meaning. The Hall of Heavenly Kings houses the statues of Maitreya Buddha and other four Heavenly Kings. The Hall of Harmony and Peace contains statues of the Buddhas of the Three Ages and the eighteen Arhats (Bryant, 2003). The Hall of Everlasting Protection houses a statue of the healing Buddha. The Hall of The Wheel of Law has a statue of Je Tsongkhapa and the Five Hundred Arhat Hill and serves as a sacred place for reading the scripture and conducting religious rituals as well. The Wanfu Pavilion an eighteen-meter Buddha statue created from a sandalwood tree trunk (Berger, 2003).
The development of Lama Temple is traced back to the Qing dynasty. During the Kangxi period (1662-1722) it served as a palace for the prince and a traveling palace during the Yongzheng rule (Waley-Cohen, 1998). However, significant developments took place during Qianlong period for the site was of great political, religious, and personal significance to its imperial patron. In 1744, it became a monastic college after several old buildings were renovated and an addition of new structures (Wu, 2015). The Pavilion of Infinite Happiness group and the Panchen Tower and the Ordination Platfo...

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