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Dear & I Toured & Prayed at Putuo Zongcheng Temple (Potala Palace) in Chengde, China

Filed Under (Chengde, China, Shopping, Travelling, World Souvenirs) by Janet on 02-06-2008


From the Chengde Imperial Summer Villa, or Mountain Resort (“Bishushanzhuang” in Chinese), we took a short drive to the Putuo Zongsheng Temple (or ”Putuo Zongchengzi” in Tibetan, or “Potala Palace” in Chinese), located North of the Mountain Resort.

The following Slideshow contains photos of our short drive from the Mountain Resort to the Putuo Zongcheng Temple :

   

The Putuo Zongcheng Temple is the biggest & most magnificent building in the Eight Outer Temples, occupying an area of 220000 square Metres. Also named the “Little Potala Palace”, the Temple was built in 1767 by Emperor Qianlong to celebrate his 60th Birthday & the 80th Birthday of his Mother - modelled after the Lhasa Potala Palace.

The Big Red Platform is the principle construction of the Putuo Zongcheng Temple, with Halls & Pavilions designed to narurally strew on hillside according to the hypsography. 

In 1994, the Putuo Zongcheng Temple was listed as a World Heritage Site, together with the Chengde Summer Villa.

 
Dear & I inside the Putuo Zongcheng Temple – so happy so happy cos I’ve always wanted to visit  Tibet, & being in a Tibetan style Temple was as close as being in Tibet!!
 
 Introduction Map of Putuo Zongcheng Temple :
 
 

We first visited the Stele Pavilion which was constructed in the Han (or Chinese) style of building Palaces during the Qing Dynasty. 
There’re 3 Huge Steles inside this Pavilion, where inscriptions & carvings were recorded - the Process of Constructing the Putuo Zongcheng Temple in the Centre (or “A Record of the Putuo Zongcheng Temple”), & how to put down the Rebellion of the Zhungeer Tribe on the other 2 Steles (which are “A Record of Zhungeer Tribe Coming Over”, & “A Record of Showing Solicitude for Zhungeer Tribe”) – In the early 18th Century, the Upper Class of the Zhungeer Tribe in Xingjiang rebelled against the Qing government, & in 1755, the Rebellion was put down & the whole Country was very peaceful.

Dear & I standing infront of the Stele Pavilion :

The texts on the Stele were written by Emperor Qianlong, in 4 languages – Manchu, Chinese (or Han), Mongolian & Tibetan. On the front side of the Stele is the Manchu Language, which was used only to compose Official Documents then. On the back of the Stele is Chinese, & the Tibetan & Mongolian Languages are on the left & right sides of the Stele. 

I’ve put all the rest of the photos taken upon arrival at the Putuo Zongsheng Temple, to the visiting of the Stele Pavilion, in the below Slideshow :

From the Stele Pavilion, we walked to the Five Pagodas Gate, located behind the Stele Pavilion.

The Gate, with 3 arched Doors & Five Pagodas on top, was erected on a Terrace, & built of bricks painted Gray, & the Five Pagodas (representing Buddhas in Five directions - Amitabha, Siddhi, Baosheng Buddha, Aksobhya, & Dari Buddha) were made of glazed bricks in Bright colors.

According to the Buddhist Scriptures, Buddhist Monks & Devotees should pass through this Gate at least twice a day, to show respect for & devotion to Buddha.

We walked past the Five Pagodas Gate, climbing up the Hill & arrived at the Gateway with multicolored Tiles behind the Five Pagodas Gate :

The following Slideshow contains photos taken at the Five Pagodas Gate & the above Gateway of Multicolored Titles :

We continued climbing further up the hill of the Putuo Zongcheng Temple & arrived outside

the West Side Hall (for praying), where the bottom Signboard with Chinese characters

“Xi Zheng Dian” meaning ”West Side Hall” stood :

We entered the following West Side Hall (Tibetan Buddhist Prayers Hall) for praying.

A Chinese lady showed us & introduced to us a little on the Tibetan Buddhist Lamas. We were then told to pick up 2 Incense Sticks with our hands & proceed to the Central Prayers Hall where we kneeled down & prayed, after which we gave some donations for the Temple & Sichuan Earthquake Victims.

No photography was allowed inside the Prayers Hall, so the following photos in the Slideshow were taken outside the West Side Hall – Tibtetan Buddhist Prayers Hall :

After our Prayers, Dear & I were given the following Red Bag for Good Luck & Prosperity, & we were told to only open it when we come back to our home in Singapore.

The Chinese characters on the front side of the Red Bag are “Dai Fu Huan Jia” meaning “Bring Fortune Home”, & the big Chinese character in the middle of the Circle is “Fo” meaning “Buddha”, with Buddhist chanting characters surrounding it.

And at the back of the Red Bag is a Lotus Flower picture, with the Chinese characters “Chengde Bu Da La” referring to the “Little Potala Palace” ( or Putuo Zongcheng Temple) in Chengde.

And I opened this Red Bag once back home in Singapore, & inside there’s a box containing a Gold Pin with Chinese characters “Na Run Hou Fo” (if I read correctly heehee), & “Zheng – Fo Yuen” meaning some “Buddhist chanting – Fate with Buddha”. In addition, there’s a Round-beaded bracelet for praying & chanting :

We continued walking to the Top of the Mountain where there’s the Great Red Terrace, built on top of a huge 17-metre high White Terrace, constructed of granite blocks & bricks. And though it appears to contain 7 storeys from outside, it’s actually only 3 storeys high. The Outer of the Terrace is painted Red, & the Walls of the Middle & Top sections are decorated with colored glazed figures of Buddhas seated in arched niches.

In the Central section of the Red Terrace is a Square Hall known as the “Hall Where Ten Thousand Laws are Reduced to One” (or “Wanfuguiyidian” in Chinese), which is roofed with gilded tiles. Inside the Hall are large numbers of Images of the Amitayus & other Bodhisattvas.

Cos of time constraints, we did not visit the “Wanfuguiyidian” but just took photos of it.

Dear & I standing infront of the Great Red Terrace :

We stopped to sample some locally grown Nuts & preserved Fruits from a Store here, & Dear & I bought the below 2 packets of very Yummy Fragrant Crunchy Roasted Almond Nuts coated with Sesame Seeds for our Dads, who are both Nuts lovers!!

The following Slideshow contains all the photos taken at the Great Red Terrace :

 

Dear & I standing closer to the Great Red Terrace after we climbed up further the Hill to be nearer it :

After taking a breather from on top of the Mountain of the Putuo Zongcheng Temple, we started to walk downhill.

And actually, I’d taken some very beautiful photos of the overall views of the Temple while walking downhill, including photos taken when we reached the bottom of the hill where I managed to take photos of the overall Temple area from infront (on top of a sloped-up road), including some photos of a local Mobile Fruits Stall which was parked beside the road! But unfortunately, I lost all the photos to a faulty SD card which Dear bought at Yaxiu Market in Beijing! I was so so MAD & at the same time so so SAD :( (

So the following Slideshow contains only a few photos of us coming downhill :

And for your viewing pleasure as well as mine, & to make myself happier & not think so much about my lost photos, I’ve taken from the Internet & put below this photo of the overerall view of the Putuo Zongcheng Temple :

After visiting the Chengde Putuo Zongcheng Temple, Dear & I went for our lunch with our tourmates Auntie & Uncle, together with our Chinese driver Sifu, & both our Beijing & Chengde tour guides.

Lunch was pretty good, with Meats & Vegetables dishes, as well as the normal Chinese Egg Soup & Fruits desserts. However, this time, Dear & I ordered an extra special Chengde Cuisine – Deer Meat, with Chicken Meat! They came served in half portions each, on a huge hotplate. The Deer meat was from the local Deer like those we saw earlier in the Chengde Summer Villa (or Mountain Resort – Bishushanzhuang).

Dear & I had tasted Deer meat often, but we’d wanted to try the Chengde famous Deer Cuisine so we ordered the 120 Yuans of hotplate of half Deer meat, & half Chicken meat, which were really delicious especially the Deer meat which was very soft & tender! However, I was never more mad when I realised that all my photos taken during this only Chengde Lunch was also lost to the faulty SD card which Dear bought in Yaxiu Market, Beijing!! So so SILLY!!

After lunch, we departed Chengde to travel back to Beijing. The following Slideshow contains photos taken from inside Sifu’s car during our journey from Chengde to Beijing :

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