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Home Travel in Beijing Yonghegong Lamasery (Lama Temple)
Yonghegong Lamasery (Lama Temple)
Travel in Beijing

Yonghegong LamaseryYonghegong (雍和宫 the Palace of Harmony and Peace),popularly known as the” Lama Temple” , is a famous lamasery in the northeastern part of Beijing.It is located next to the northern side of the Second Ring Road,with Bai Lin Si ( Normal 0 7.8 磅 0 2 false false false EN-US ZH-CN X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 the Cypress Grove Temple)to its east and the Temple of Confucius and the Imperial Academy to the west.Yonghegong Lamasery is the largest lamasery and one of the best preserved lama temples at the present time in Beijing with a total area of 66,400 square meters,480 meters long from north to south and 120 meters wide from east to west.Yonghegong Lamasery is also a well—known monastery of the Gelugpa,the Yellow Sect of Tibetan Buddhism in Mainland China.In 1961,it was listed as one of China’s major national treasures under state protection.

Yonghegong LamaseryOriginally,Yonghegong was a palatial residence of the Prince Yinzhen,the fourth son of Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty.It was built in 1 694 after Prince Yinzhen was given the title “YongPrince” and the palace was named “Palace Mansion of YongPrince”.After Yong Prince succeeded the throne in 1 723.He moved to the Forbidden City and became Emperor Yongzheng.In1 725,he turned half of his former residence into a temple for the monks of the Yellow Sect and the other half became a temporary palace where he came for his personal use.Thus.His residence started to be called Yonghegong(the Palace of Harmony and Peace).Not long after,the Temporary Palace was burnt down and only the temple part was left.

Emperor Yongzheng (yōngzhèng 雍正) had lived here before he came to the throne and his son Hongli.who succeeded his throne later and became Emperor Qianlong,was born here,SO as a rule,the former imperial residence then became a” Residence of Hidden Dragon”, it could not revert to secular use and had to remain a temple.In 1 735,Emperor Yongzheng died and then his son Hongli succeeded the throne.He put his father’s coffin here for more than one year before the coffin was moved to the Western Qing Tombs.Emperor Qianlong upgraded Yonghegong to the status of an Imperial Palace by replacing the green tiles of the roof with the yellow ones,for the yellow color was the imperial color in the old days,especially in the Qing Dynasty.In 1744,it was formally converted into a Lamasery but it retained the name:“Yonghegong”,the Palace of Harmony and Peace.

Yonghegong Lamasery Lamaism is also known as Tibetan Buddhism or it is called Buddhism of the Tibetan Language.Lamaism is a form of Buddhism,which contains a large element of Hinduism and popular Tibetan religious worship.“Lama” means “Superior one”.In the 7”century.Buddhism was disseminated to Tibet from India,Nepal and the interior of China.Assimilating the culture of local formed a kind of Buddhism with Tibetan characteristics known as “Tibetan Buddhism”,popularly nicknamed as Lamaism,and soon it became influenced by the Tibetan cults.In the 13th century,it spread rapidly into Mongolia and north China.During the Qing Dynasty,the Mongolian and Tibetan people believed in Lamaism and at the same time.both Mongolia and Tibet were very 1mportant borders of the country.In order to stabilize these regions, Emperor Qianlong found that Lamaism could play an irreplaceable role in uniting and appeasing minority nations.And could strengthen the central power of the Manchu ruler as well.So based on his religion policy, some lama monasteries were erected and Lamaism was especially encouraged by Emperor Qianlong as a means of maintaining political unity with Mongolia and Tibet.In order to safeguard territorial integrity,security and peace.And strengthen its unity with the minority ethnic groups in these areas.Emperor QianlQng changed Yonghegong to a Lamasery.In this way,religion played a very important role in promoting harmony and cementing the relationship between the Mongolian and Tibetan people.He also ordered 500 lamas,who came from Mongolia.To stay here in the Yonghegong Lamasery.This was not only for obeying his mother’s wish,but was also in accordance with the imperial regulation of the former imperial also showed the emperor’s determination to conciliate the minority nationalities and reinforce the frontier.


After 1949,the Chinese Government attached great importance to this Lama Temple.Several renovations have been carried out since then,and the Temple has taken on a new look.In 1950 and 1 952,the government allocated large sums of money to renovate it. In 1961,Yonghegong Lamasery was listed by the State Council as a major national cultural relic and historical site under the state’s protection.During the ten—year Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976,Yonghegong was very well preserved because of the special care given by our late Premier Zhou Enlai.The latest renovation was carried out in 1 976,and in 1 98 1 Yonghegong was reopen to the public.

altToday,there are rich collections of cultural relics which are preserved in Yonghegong Lamasery,especially those related to Tibetan Buddhism.For instance,there is a large number of vividly sculptured Buddhist images of various sizes,each different in posture and expression;a large collection of Tibetan—style paintings known as Tangka paintings;delicate frescoes,scriptures and religious instruments;the inscriptions and calligraphic works on the stele and boards,and Buddhist scriptures in the languages of Manchu,Tibetan,Chinese,Mongolian and Sanskrit,all of which being of very high cultural and historical value for the Chinese people.
Ever since it was opened to the public more than 20 years ago,Yonghegong Lamasery has attracted thousands of people every day.Many state and government leaders,from more than 1 00 countries and regions,have visited here.Presently,there are nearly 100 lamas in Yonghegong and most of them are Mongolians,Tibetans and people from Qinghai.Daily traditional religious ceremonies and activities in Yonghegong are undertaken strictly according to the regulation and disciplines of Tibetan Buddhism.

Yonghegong LamaseryYonghegong Lamasery mainly consists of seven courtyards from south to north,including three well-decorated elegant archways and six main structure buildings lying along the north—south central axis,with annex halls standing along both sides.The six main buildings are:the Gate of Harmony and Peace(Yonghemen),the Hall of Harmony and Peace(Yonghegong Dian),the Hall of Eternal Blessings(Yongyoudian),the Hall of Dharma Wheel (Falundian),the Pavilion of Ten Thousand Happiness(Wanfuge) and the Pavilion of Peaceful Accomplishment(Suichengge).In addition.there are four buildings on both sides called“the Four Academic Halls”(Sixuedian).

From south to north,the courtyards along the central axis are progressively reduced in size,one after another,while the buildings in each courtyard rise progressively higher,giving people an enigmatic impression of unfathomable infinite height and depth.Here,one can really experience traditional Chinese architecture with a special emphasis on the architectural style of Tibetan Buddhism.

The architecture of the overall layout,the unique decorative designs and colors all show a special combination of the architectural styles of the Ming and Qing dynasties blended with the culture of the Han and Tibetan people.It really combines the palace architectural style and temple buildings with the architectural features of the Manchu,Han,Mongolian and Tibetan people into one style.We can also find this feature in the Hall of Dharma Wheel and the Ten Thousand Happiness Pavilion.The Hall of Dharma Wheel has five dormer windows in the roof and five gilded pinnacles,which reflect the rich characteristics of the temples of Tibetan Buddhism and the architecture of the Tibetan people.The Ten Thousand Happiness Pavilion has“overhead passages”on either side of the second floor,which is typical of the building style of the Liao and Jin Dynasties(907—1 234).Very few of these kinds of structures are still in existence today.They are rarearchitectural masterpieces.

Address: 12 Yonghegong Dajie, Beijxinqiao, Dongcheng District, Beijing
( 雍和宫大街12号 )
Post Code:100007
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Attractions Nearby
Beijing confucius Temple
Guozijian(The imperial College)

Opening Time
Nov. 1 to Mar. 31, 9:00—16:00
Apr. 1 to Oct. 31, 09:00-17:00

Bus Line
Subway Line 2,5 at Yonghegong station

Ticket Price
25, student half


  • It is not permitted to take photographs in any of the halls.
  • Restaurants near Yonghegong Lamasery supply traditional Beijing food. They are dilicious.Beijing Confucius Temple and Guozijian(The Imperial College) are just across the street from the Lama temple
  • The three Masterpieces of Woodden Scuptures
    • This Mountain of 500 Arhats carved in red sandalwood in the Hall of Dharma Wheel
    • The giant 18 meters high Statue of Buddha Maitreya carved in white sandalwood in the Ten Thousand happiness pavillion.It was recorded in the Guinness Book of Records in 1993.
    • The Buddha's Shrine made of nanmu with fine veins in three tiers, and carved out 99 intertwined dragons in Zhaofulou Building.


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