Sunset Glow over Temple of Heaven

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Temple of Heaven was once the imperial place where the worship for the god of heaven was held by emperors in Ming and Qing dynasties.

Today Temple of Heaven has been expanded into a huge leisure park, a great place to relax and do all kinds of exercises ( dancing )and activities (playing chess). But the north-south axis is still dominated by the Temple of Heaven itself as hundreds of years ago which is mainly composed of three parts – The Hall of Prayer for Harvest, the Imperial Vault of Heaven and the Circular Mound Altar.

In Ming and Qing dynasties, at Winter Solstice emperors will come here to pray for the harvest. Now people flock here to touch the history and appreciate the beauty of Chinese traditional architecture.

Visiting Temple of Heaven at different times of a day brings you different views of the architectures and natural beauty as well as people watch. Visiting Temple of Heaven in the early morning is quite interesting with locals doing various kinds of light physical activities you can imagine, like singing, dancing, playing instruments, playing chess, practicing kung fu, tai chi,etc.

Come here in the late afternoon in a clear day and take beautiful pictures of Temple of Heaven under golden sunset glow. For how to visit Temple of Heaven ( entrance tickets, opening time, etc.) , you check out the link Tips for Visiting Temple of Heaven for more information.

Now follow me to enter the south gate to Temple of Heaven and stroll along the axis for a photography tour during your Beijing tour.

If you visit Temple of Heaven from south to north along the axis starting from the south gate, the first part you will see is the Circular Mound Altar where the emperors held ceremonies to pray to the god of heaven for harvest. Actually “Temple of Heaven” in Chinese literally means “Sky Altar”which refers to the Circular Mound Altar.

The distant view of the Circular Mound Altar under the sunset glow. It is a three-layer of terraces with marble handrails.

The distant view of the Circular Mound Altar under the sunset glow

The distant view of the Circular Mound Altar under the sunset glow

On the top of the three-layer altar. The heart of the altar is said to be linked to the heaven, a place to pray to the god of heaven. Many visitors would stand in the heart of the altar for a life-time picture.

On the top of the three-layer altar

On the top of the three-layer altar

The sunset over the terraces of the Circular Altar

The sunset over the terraces of the Circular Altar

The sunset over the terraces of the Circular Altar

 

Standing on the Circular Mound Altar and looking at the Imperial Vault of Heaven in the south which is turning golden and brilliant.

looking at the Imperial Vault of Heaven

looking at the Imperial Vault of Heaven

A close look at the Imperial Vault of Heaven under the sunset glow.

Imperial Vault of Heaven under the sunset glow

Imperial Vault of Heaven under the sunset glow

Passing by the Imperial Vault of Heaven, I walk along the axis towards the Hall of Prayer for Harvest.

walk along the axis towards the Hall of Pray for Harvest.

walk along the axis towards the Hall of Pray for Harvest.

Unfortunately, the door to the Hall of Pray for Harvest is closed and I have to take the pictures around the Hall of Prayer for Harvest. The solemn red-colored building with upturned eaves and mysterious animals on the top against the sunset glow.

The solemn red-colored building

The solemn red-colored building

The wall circling the Hall of Prayer for Harvest under the sunset glow.

A good angle looking at the Hall of Prayer for Harvest above the Wall under the sunset glow.

the Hall of Pray for Harvest above the Wall

the Hall of Pray for Harvest above the Wall

The yellow leaves of ginkgo trees blanket the road leading to the North Gate to Temple of Heaven.

The yellow leaves of ginkgo trees

The yellow leaves of ginkgo trees

06611Tip:  Hassle-free Beijing Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Beijing:

Beijing Highlight Day Tour from US$59 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Mutianyu Great Wall)
Beijing Classic City Tour from US$65 P/P
(Tiananmen + Forbidden City + Temple of Heaven + Summer Palace)
Beijing Excursion Tour from US$59 P/P
(Mutianyu Great Wall + Ming Tomb)
Beijing Hutong Highlight Tour from US$59 P/P
( Hutong + Rickshaw)

Mutianyu Great Wall Half Day Tour from US$55 p/p
Hike from Jiankou to Mutianyu Great Wall Day Tour from US$69 p/p

Mutianyu Great Wall Layover Tour from US$65 p/p
Beijing Highlight Layover Tour from US$75 p/p

Further Readings


Top 10 Attractions in Beijing
How to Visit Forbidden City
How to Visit Temple of Heaven
How to Visit Summer Palace
How to Visit Ming Tombs
How to Visit the Great Wall of China
How to Visit Tiananmen Square
How to Visit Hutongs
How to Visit Olympic Sites

Top 10 Markets in Beijing
Top 10 Shopping Malls in Beijing
Beijing Shopping

Wangfujing Night Snack Street
Qianmen Commercial Street
Beijing Huguosi Street

Any questions, just drop a line.

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