Tanzhe Temple, Tanzhe Si Mentougou Beijing

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

The Chinese “Tanzhe Si 潭柘寺” literally means “Temple of Pool and Zhe Tree”, now popularly known as Tanzhe Temple in English. There used to be a pool behind the temple and a lot of Zhe trees ( a kind of wild mulberry trees ) on the mountains nearby, hence the name of Tanzhe Temple.

People often use a cliche to describe the long history of Tanzhe Temple – “First came Tanzhe Temple, then Beijing.” which was first built in 307 AD in Western Jin Dynasty ( 265 – 316 AD). Its name was changed again and again through Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties.

After its and repair and expansion in 1692, the hotel was renamed “Xiuyun Temple and has remained till today. But it is popularly referred as Tanzhe Temple due to the dragon pool behing the temple and the Zhe trees on the nearby mountains.

More than just a famous buddhist temple in China, Tanzhe Temple is also well known for its grandiur Chinese architecture and green plants. The temple compound is well arranged along an axis, which is said to have provided a model for the layout of the Forbidden City.

The temple is perched on a hillside surrounded by nine peaks and composed of various prayer halls, pavilions, courtyards and a group of pagodas dating from the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. It was an imperial temple with high status. 

Entrance Fee: RMB 55 per Person
Tel: 60862500
How to get there:
By Public Transport:
Take subway line 1 and get off the most western station – Pingguoyuan, then connect public bus 931 for Tanzhe Temple
Bus runs daily 7am-5:30pm, about every 30 minutes. The bus ride time is about 1 hour
By Car:
Drive along National Highway No. 108 (G108) in the west of Beijing. While on the way, it is advisable to notice the placards pointing to Tanzhe Temple.
Well, now follow us to explore Tanzhe Temple along its axis. We start our Tanzhe Temple trip from Tanzhe Town under the jurisdiction of Mentougou District, Beijing. Tanzhe Temple is only 4km north of Tanzhe Town.

Several incense vendors are standing by the main road selling incense sticks for people to burn inside. It is said that the incense stickes bought on ourside the temple are cheaper than inside.

Several incense vendors are standing by the main road selling incense sticks for people to burn inside

Passing by a village on the way from Tznzhe Town to Tanzhe Temple. It is Pingyuan Village. Most of the households in village are engaged in rural tourism offering accommodation and dining for Tanzhe Temple visitors. The food here in the village is much cheaper than Tanzhe Temple. 

It is Pingyuan Village. Most of the households in village are engaged in rural tourism

There are several parking lots around Tanzhe Temple. We choose the parking area just in front of the south gate – the main gate of Tanzhe Temple. If it is peak season , it is quite difficult to park your car in a good place. It is low season. It is very to park our van. 

We choose the parking area just in front of the south gate

This is the main gate of Tanzhe Temple. People have to buy tickets and go through the ticket collecting. 

This is the main gate of Tanzhe Temple. People have to buy tickets and go through the ticket collecting.

The Hall of the Heavenly Kings (Tian Wang Dian or Devaraja Hall). Like other temples, the first hall from the south in the temple complex is the Hall of the Heavenly Kings.

Like other temples, the first hall from the south in the temple complex is the Hall of the Heavenly Kings.

A Mahavira Hall or Hall of Mahavira (大雄寶殿), meaning “Hall of the Great Hero” , is the main building of a traditional Chinese Buddhist temple complex, behind the Hall of the Heavenly Kings.
A Mahavira Hall or Hall of Mahavira

A Mahavira Hall or Hall of Mahavira

Since it was once an imperial temple, it had enjoyed much higher position among buddhist temples. Look at the 8 mythical animals on the double-tiered roof,  only one animal less than Forbidden City.

Since it was once an imperial temple, it had enjoyed much higher position among buddhist temples. Look at the 8 mythical animals on the doubled eaves, only one animal less than Forbidden City.

The carved dragon on the mural above the roof.

The carved dragon on the mural above the roof.

Three”see through life” living monks at leisure time in front of the Mahavira Hall.

Three – see through life – living monks at leisure time in front of the Mahavira Hall

 

Your next door uncle or a monk in a temple?

Your next door uncle or a monk in a temple

People come here to pray for good health, peaceful mind and smooth life by burning incense, which is linked with the Buddha.

People come here to pray for good health, peaceful mind and smooth life by burning incense, which is linked with the Buddha.

Behind Hall of Mahavira is a courtyard where there grow 4 old trees – Pine and Ginkgo. 

Behind Hall of Mahavira is a courtyard where there grow 4 old trees – Pine and Ginkgo.

At the end of the axis is the Vairochana Pavilion. It is a double-floored pavilion as well as highest building along the axis in Tanzhe temple. Vairocana (also Vairochana or Mahāvairocana) is a celestial Buddha who is often interpreted as the Bliss Body of the historical Gautama Buddha.

At the end of the axis is the Vairochana Pavilion

A big incense burner in front of the Vairochana Pavilion where people burn incense trying to talk to the buddha through the incense smoke.

A big incense burner in front of the Vairochana Pavilion where people burn incense trying to talk to the buddha through the incense smoke.

This is Diamond Life – Extension Tower. The tower was built in 1437 by the prince Yuejing Zhu in Ming Dynasty. The emperess’s sutra, date of birth and eight characteristics of horoscope were buried in the tower. The prince hoped to pray for the fortune for the empress and her life would be extended with the help of the buddha. 
A group of hanging coiled incenses burning.

A group of hanging coiled incenses burning

This is Guanyin Hall. Guan Yin (Avalokitesvara, the Goddess of Mercy), is one of the four Bodhisattvas of Buddhism, she has 33 incarnations.

This is Guanyin Hall. Guan Yin (Avalokitesvara, the Goddess of Mercy), is one of the four Bodhisattvas of Buddhism, she has 33 incarnations.

This is  Buxian Hall. Buxian, or Samantabhadra, one of the four Bodhisattvas of Buddhism. It presents wisdom.
Stone Fish. The stone fish is one of the four treasures in the temple. Touching the stone fish is said to be able to bring you good luck.

Stone Fish. The stone fish is one of the four treasures in the temple. Touching the stone fish is said to be able to bring you good luck.

Overlooking Tanzhe temple from the platform in front of the Stone Fish Hall.

Overlooking Tanzhe temple from the platform in front of the Stone Fish Hall.

We walk down from the high platform at the back of the temple to its west side. One the way down, we see lots of bamboos. Zhè trees (Wild Mulberry), now quite few in number. There are also persimmon trees, bamboos.

One the way down, we see lots of bamboos

This is Jie Tan Temple (Ordination Terrace Temple Or Altar Temple) for buddhist discipline and ordination.

This is Jie Tan Temple (Ordination Terrace Temple Or Altar Temple) for buddhist discipline and ordination.

To knock the huge bell for 108 times can bring you good fortune and prosperity

To knock the huge bell for 108 times can bring you good fortune and prosperity.

Add On

Questions and Answers: