Puning Temple

The Puning Temple (with its popular name Big Buddha Temple) is located in the north-west of Chengde city. The main attractions inside the temple are Bell and Drum Towers, Pavilions, Heaven King Palace (Tian Wang Dian) and the Daxiong Baodian. Built in 1755 A.D (QING Dynasty), the Puning Temple shows the respect of the Qing Dynasty to the Minorities. It is a most grandiose palace group. It is an architectural masterpiece of BAROQUE style .It has been placed on "a catalogue of world culture heritage" by UN in 1981.

Puning Temple (Temple of Universal Peace) Puning Temple (Temple of Universal Peace)

The 36.75 meter high Mayana Hall is where most people here tend to head. Inside here, the 22.23 meter high, 110 ton statue of Avalokiteshvara (Guanyin in Mandarin), is the largest wooden statue in the world. Made with five different types of wood (pine, cypress, elm, fir and basswood), this enormous statue is one of the few remaining wooden Buddha in China. Avalokitshvara, with 1,000 heads and 1,000 arms, is meant to be able to see future, present and past, hence the many eyes that litter her body (three on her head, one in her belly, and one on each of her 42 palms). Sitting on Avalokitshvara's head stands a 1.53 meter high Buddha of infinity and longevity. The present statue is said to be a copy of the original that was stolen by a warlord.

The rest of the halls also contain a variety of interesting, though smaller statues. Many of these are housed in the East and West Chambers of the Main Hall, which originally served for the emperor to rest and listen to the chanting of the Buddhist scripture. The temple still remains pleasantly active, with a hive of red robed monks that can be seen in prayer in the early morning.

How to get to the Temple of Universal Peace: Take bus No. 6 from the main town.

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