White Dagoba Temple, White Dagoba Temple Beijing China
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White Dagoba Temple

The White Dagoba Temple ,also called Miaoying Si is located in the West District of Beijing Municipality. There is an imposing white dagoba standing in the temple, hence the name. It is one of two famous white dagobas in Beijing, and the other one stands in Beihai Park.


The White Dagoba Temple

 

The temple has a long history . In the year 1271, Mongolian leader Kublai Khan unified the whole country and started the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). The governor of the vast and fantastic Tibet also began to bend its knee to the central state at this time. To strengthen the correlation between the empire and the local power in Tibet and to gain the agreement of the Tibetan Buddhists among the Yuan officials, Kublai Khan was determined to build the White Dagoba. When it was ended in the year 1279, a further ordinance was given to grant the building of another temple around the dagoba within an area of 160,000 square meters. Then it was obliged to accept the name of 'Dashengshou Wan'an Si'. The Dagoba, along with the capital Dadu, because of their magnificent appearance ,was called 'Golden City and Jade Dagoba' by then people. Unluckily , the temple was burnt root and branch in the year 1368, and astonishingly only the White Dagoba remained. In the year 1457 of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), Emperor Tianshun commanded the reconstruction of the temple covering an area of 13,000 square meters (3.2 acres), much smaller than the premier scale. It was then renamed 'Miaoying Si'. It has been recovered several times in recent time , but not as extensively as before.

The temple mainly consists of the White Dagoba and four halls, which stores many visual Buddhist statues, five Buddhas' crowns, traditional Buddhist lection, beautiful fabrics, flowery cassocks, and other rare preciosity. The most remarkable is the golden Dagoba Longevity Statue at the height of 5 cm. There are more than 40 rubies and bronzy Kwan-yin Bodhisattva Statue with a thousand hands and eyes. It is the earliest known place for translating Buddhist scriptures.

It mainly functioned as the imperial temple in the Yuan Dynasty. The governor regulated that all vital ritual should be prepared here three days before the actual ceremonies. The sacrificial ceremony of Kublai Khan was also held here when he died, which proves the important status of this temple. In the later days of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), the temple became one of the most famous spots for temple fairs. At that time there was a popular saying 'August eighth, white dagoba walks'. There was also a custom, on the lunar 25th Oct. in every year, many lamas walked around the circle of the dagoba, speaking highly of the lection and playing music. Even nowadays there are many religious people praying for blessings around the dagoba.

The White Dagoba is located in north of the centre of the temple. It was designed by the Nepalese architect Anigo. The bottom of the dagoba is a three-layered foundation, the body resemble a reverse ice cream cone making it an remarkable building. Near the top is a solid marquee made of thick wood at the bottom and beaten bronze above.

It is the largest and earliest Tibetan dagoba which remains as a witness of the once refulgence during the Yuan Dynasty and the companionship between China and Nepal. It has now been listed as an important cultural spot and now is under the protection of the Chinese State Department. With its extreme pulchritude and precious cultural value, the White Dagoba Temple will surely amaze you and leave you with a continued and distinct impression of your tour.

White Dagoba Temple Notes

1.Admission Fee:
CNY20 (free of charge on Wednesday)

2.Opening Hours: 9:00 - 16:30

3.Transportation:
(1).By Bus: 
Take bus no.7, 13, 42, 101, 102, 103, 202, 211, 409, 603, 604, 612, 685, 814, 823 or 846 and get off at Baita Si (White Dagoba Temple) Station.
(2)By Subway:
Subway Line 2: get off at Fuchengmen Station and walk east.
Subway Line 4: get off at Xisi Station and walk west.