Putuo Zongcheng Temple
Putuo Zongcheng Temple is located in the north of Chengde Summer Resort Scenic Spot and occupies an area of 21.6 hectares. It is the mixture of Han people’s architectural style and the Tibetan style. The general distribution is similar with the Potala Palace in Lhasa, but its dimensions are also very large in the inland temples.
“Putuozongcheng” means “Potala Palace” in Tibetan, but much smaller than the Potala Palace in Lhasa, so it is also called “Liitle Potala Palace”. The temple has been chosen by many travelers as the alternate of the Polata Palace in Tibet owing to the exact resemblance between the two. Even the name of the awkward four-syllable words is the sinicized version of its counterpart in Tibet.
Putuozongcheng Temple has been chosen by many travelers as the alternate of the Polata Palace in Tibet owing to the exact resemblance between the two. Even the name of the awkward four-syllable words is the sinicized version of its counterpart in Tibet. This temple was first built in the thirty-second year of Emperor Qianlong for the purpose of celebrating his 60th birthday and his mother's 80th birthday. It is the biggest temple of the Eight Outer Temples.
The most conspicuous characteristics of this temple rely on its Tibetan style. Within the temple, about sixty flat-roof-house-like white platforms and Sanskrit white platforms lays freely beyond the axes to confront the mountainous terrain. The main buildings big red square-shaped platform at the top of the mountain is very famous in contrast with the surrounding white attics. This platform was used by the emperors to hold great religious rituals and meet the tribal chiefs from important ethnic groups as well as high officials.
The overall arrangement consists of three parts: the front part, the middle part and the back part. The front part begins at the five-hole stone bridge in front of the temple, including the mountain gate, stele pavilion and five-tower gates. In the middle, there are colored glaze archway and tower-courts of the white platform. The big red platform at the back is the main body of the building group. The mountain gate and the stele pavilion follow the way of Han style in building palaces during the Qing dynasty. And there are inscriptions and carvings in characters used by Manchus, Hans, Mongolians and Tibetans in the pavilion, like a record of Putuozongcheng Temple, A Record of Tu’erhute Tribe Coming Over and Pledging Allegiance and A Record of Showing solicitude for Tu'erhute Tribe. These inscriptions are of precious historical value.
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