Also called Temple of Enlightenment, Dajue Temple is located on the southern slope of Yangtai Mountain in the western suburb of Beijing. It is famous for clear springs, ancient trees, beautiful magnolias and peaceful environment. Its construction was started in 1068 in the Liao Dynasty (916-1125) and the original name was Clear Water Temple (Qingshui Yuan in Chinese) for there was a clear spring flowing through the temple. In the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), it changed to the present name. Dajue Temple was open to the public in 1992. Since 1997, the Magnolia Festival has been held every April as well as other exhibitions and cultural activities. In 2006, it was listed as an important cultural relic site under state-level protection.
Constructed according to the mountain contour, Dajue Temple faces east, reflecting the construction arrangement of worshipping the sun by the Liao People. Covering an area of 1.5 acres (6,000 sq meters), it is composed of temples in the middle, temporary palaces for emperors in the south and dwellings for monks in the north.
Main Architectures in the Middle Section
The main hall, called the Hall of Sakyamuni, is the second hall located in the middle section. A wooden gilded statue of Sakyamuni sits on a stone altar. A horizontal tablet inscribed by Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) hangs above in the hall, and plaques inscribed by the Empress Dowager Cixi of the Qing Dynasty can be also seen in the hall.
Behind the Hall of Sakyamuni is a hall where Amitabha is enshrined. The Hall of Amitabha is built on a high platform and surrounded by white marble rails. The tablet inscribed by Emperor Qianlong hangs over the gate. One Buddha and two Bodhisattvas are worshiped in the hall.
By the north and south sides of the hall stand two stone tablets. The northern one was built in 1478 in memory of the reconstruction of it, while the southern one was built in 1504 and its inscription records the reconstruction in 1478.
The King of Ginkgoes is also worth visiting. There are two ginkgoes growing in front of the Hall of Amitabha and the tree by the north with a height of 82 feet (25 meters) and a girth of 8.2 yards (7.5 meters) is over 900 years old and has been described in many poems.
Hall of Great Compassion is where sutras were deposited. By the northwest of the hall is seated a stone tablet of the Liao Dynasty. This south-facing tablet, 6.6 feet (2 meters) high and 1.1 yard (1 meter) wide, was inscribed in 1068 and now part of the inscriptions has become blurred over the years. It is the most precious historic relic in Dajue Temple.
Siyi Hall in the Southern Section
North Magnolia Hall in the Northern Section
Architectures in the Back
How to get to Dajue Temple
2. Take Subway Line 4 to Beigongmen Station. Then take bus 346 and get off at Zhoujiaxiang Station. Then change to bus 633 and get off at Dajuesi Station.
Beijing Bus / Subway Search
CNY 20 (On Wednesdays, the first 200 visitors can visit the temple for free).
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