Azure Cloud Temple
Category: Historical Attractions
Address: North area of western hill, Haidian District, Beijing
Open Time: Daily 8:30am - 4:30pm
Entrance fee: 10 Yuan/p.p
Introduction of Beijing Azure Cloud Temple
The Azure Cloud Temple, Chinese name is Biyun Si. Located in the north area of Western Hill Park and about 25 kilometers from downtown Beijing. This temple was initially built during the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) and was taken reconstruction during the Ming and Qing Dynasties. The interior buildings almost retain the style of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644) completely.
The gate of Azure Clouds which is faced by the stone lions is called the Mountain Gate. Close to it is a very deep pool where visitors can view a river that never dries up. On both sides of this temple are two Buddhist guardians which were carved during the Ming Dynasty and each being five meters in height. Upon entering this temple, tourists first visit the Front Palace where the stout Maitreya is displayed and then they encounter the Sakyamuni's Palace where there are statues of Sakyamuni and his disciples as well as the Arhats.
The most famous buildings inside the temple including the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, which is in the center of the temple, the Five Hundred Arhats Hall and the Vajra Throne Tower.
There is a red wooden plaque hanging above the front gate of the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall, the words on the plaque which is engraved in gold was written by his wife, Song Qingling. Inside this hall lies an empty crystal coffin presented by the USSR government in 1925 in memory of Sun Yat-sen, because his body had already been buried elsewhere, the coffin was left here till now. Photos of Sun Yat-sen, his handwriting, his books and his statue are also on display inside this hall.
The Five Hundred Arhats Hall located on the west side of the Azure Cloud Temple, includes nine rooms, four small wells and a pavilion. The inner side of the front gate has figures of four heavenly kings, and three powerful Buddhas, Burning Lamp Buddha, Sakyamuni and Maitreya, are placed in the middle of this hall. Another Buddha called Ji Gong, squats on the beam of the house.
The magnificent Vajra Throne Tower is the highest building in the Azure Cloud Temple. This 35 meter-high tower with elegant decorations is well-known within the area of Beijing City for its high elevation. The tower is located on Xishan (West Hill) and when you climb to the top, it is a perfect observational position to view all the scenery in the suburbs of Beijing City.
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