Meidaizhao Temple

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Meidaizhao Temple is located in Meidaizhao Village below the massive Daqing Mountain of the Yinshan Range, Tumote Right Banner, Dong He District, Baotou. Meidaizhao lies between Baotou ( 98km east of Baotou) and Hohhot ( 99km west of Hohhot), just on the north of National Highway 110 and Jingzang Expressway, a historical site conveniently accessible either from Hohhot or Baotou.

Meidaizhao was originally built in 1565 as a fortified capital city of the Daming Golden Kingdom in Ming Dynasty, also known as Altan Khan Kingdom, (a vassal of Ming Dynasty) established by Altan Khan (1507 – 1582) . Altan Khan was a descendant of Kublai Khan (1215–1294). He managed to unite the Mongols in the north and the south. His name means “Golden Khan” in the Mongolian language, hence the kingdom’s name.

In 1571, Altan Khan was granted the title Shunyi Wang from the Longqing Emperor (March 4, 1537- July 5, 1572), the 12th emperor of China (Ming dynasty). With the assistance of his wife known as Sannianzi (Grand Queen), the Daming Golden Kingdom kept peace peace with the Ming Dynasty for over 40 years.

With a new city known as “Green City” built by Altan Khan and the Grand Queen in the current old town in Hohhot, the political center of Altan Khan Kingdom was move on to Hohhot. In 1606, the Meidaizhao fortress was transformed into a lamasery.

The present temple occupies an area of 4000 square meters encompassing the over 200 Ming and Qing era buildings including Sakyamuni Hall (Hall of Great Hero), Glazed Hall, Dalai Temple, Sannianzi Hall. The temple is surrounded by a 5-meter high stone wall in a rectangular shape with a perimeter of 681 meters. The big draw is the 1650-square-meter murals in Ming and Qing Dynasties preserved in the Hall of Great Hero.

If you are planning Inner Mongolia tour, a side trip to Meidaizhao either from Baotou or Hohhot is highly recommended.

Follow me to have a glimpse of the ancient city of Meidaizhao Temple.

The south gate to the fortress temple and Daqingshan Mountain lies behind the temple.

The south gate to the fortress temple

The south gate to the fortress temple

The two old pine trees in front of the Great Hero Hall ( Sakyamuni Hall ) are known as “Listening to Buddhist Scripture” pine trees, west is female and east male, over 400 years old when the temple was originally started being built.

Listening to Buddhist Scripture" pine trees,

Listening to Buddhist Scripture” pine trees,

The Sakyamuni Hall is home to the 1650-square-meter murals in Ming and Qing Dynasties ( Camera-forbidden ).

The Sykyamuni Hall

The Sykyamuni Hall

The Nai Qiong Temple is the former dwelling place for Mal Da Li living buddha in Qing Dynasty. The original statue of Mal Da Li is not available. Instead, it shrines the statue of Guardian of God.

The Nai Qiong Temple

The Nai Qiong Temple

Built in 1566, the Glazed Hall (Liuli Hall) was formerly the meeting hall of Altan Khan Kingdom. Now it is devoted to Three Buddhas, a typical Ming architecture.

the Glazed Hal

the Glazed Hal

The Dalai Temple is given to the Third Dalai Lama – Sonam Gyatso who came here in 1582 for practicing Buddhism and held a new funeral ceremony for Altan Khan. The title of Dalai Lama was given by Altan Khan.

This Dalai Temple is given to the Third Dalai Lama

This Dalai Temple is given to the Third Dalai Lama

The Grand Queen Hall, a burial place for the third wife ( also known as Sannianzi) of Altan Khan. She assisted her husband managing the kingdom and keeping good relationship with the Ming Dynasty for over 40 years.

The Grand Queen Hall,

The Grand Queen Hall,

The statues of Alta Khan and the Grand Queen ( Sannianzi – third wife).

The statues of Alta Khan and the Grand Queen

The statues of Alta Khan and the Grand Queen

The fortified temple stands facing the south below Daqing Mountain on the north, surrounded by a 681-meter long stone wall, 5 meters high. Ascending the wall, you are able to have a clear picture of the ancient city, a former capital of Altan Khan Kingdom.

Ascending the wall, you are able to have a clear picture of the ancient city

Ascending the wall, you are able to have a clear picture of the ancient city

 

The northern wall of the temple below the Daqing Mountain.

The northern wall

The northern wall

One of the corner towers ( Turrets) on the wall

One of the corner towers ( Turrets) on the wall

One of the corner towers ( Turrets) on the wall

Standing on the wall, you are able to have a clear picture of the Sakymuni Hall and Glazed Hall.

a clear picture of the Sakymuni Hall and Glazed Hall.

a clear picture of the Sakymuni Hall and Glazed Hall.

Any questions, just drop a line.

Tags: Meidaizhao, Meidaizhao Lamasery, Meidaizhao Monastery

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