Located near the Chengde Mountain Resort, and alongside the equally famed Putuozongcheng Temple, Puning Temple is one of the famous Eight Outer Temples in Chengde City, Hebei Province. It is also known as Big Buddha Temple because of the big Buddha in the temple, built in 1755 during the period of the Qianlong Emperor to show the Qing's respect to the ethnic minorities.
Puning Temple was modeled after the Samye Monastery, the sacred Lamaist site in Tibet. The front temple was constructed in the Chinese style, although the temple complex follows both Chinese and Tibetan architectural style. The complex features temple halls, pavilions, drum towers and bell towers.
In 1994, the Chengde Mountain Resort and Chengde's Eight Outer Temples (including the Puning Temple) were established as one of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Today, the Puning Temple remains a site of tourist attraction and local festivities.
Since the 17th century, during the late Chinese Ming Dynasty, the Dzungar people of northwestern China were engaged in a civil war and conflicts with other nomadic horse-archer groups in the region. The later Qianlong Emperor dispatched an army to Yili in order to suppress their resistance against the Qing Dynasty. The Chinese attacked Kulja and captured the ruling Dzungar khan. After the conquest, Emperor Qianlong personally inscribed his writing on a tablet that is located in the stele pavilion of the Puning Temple. This stele of 1755, called the Puning Sibei, commemorated the founding of the temple and the conquering of the Dzungars. Qianlong ordered for the building of this new Temple of Universal Peace, a symbol of the emperor's ambition to maintain peace among various ethnic minorities and a stable environment within the northwestern regions. The historian Waley-Cohen calls Chengde "a crucial location for the exhibition of Manchu power and the representation of Qing imperial knowledge," being the location of the summer capital. Since the Dzungar were followers of Lamaism, the temple was built in imitation of Samye monastery, the sacred place of Lamaism in Tibet.
North of Mountain Resort of Chengde, Hebei Province, China
8:00 - 17:30
50 yuan per person
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