Tanzhe Temple

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An entrance into the Tanzhe Temple

The Tanzhe Temple (Chinese: ; pinyin: Tán Zhè Sì; literally: "Temple of Pool and Zhe Tree") is a Buddhist temple situated in the Western Hills, a mountainous area in western Beijing. It is one of the most well-known temples in Beijing. At one time, it was one of the most important temples in the nation. The temple is located near China National Highway 108 in the Mentougou District of Beijing.

Built in the Jin Dynasty (265–420), it has an age of around 1,700 years. The area of the entire temple is 100 mu (6.8 hectares), and its arrangement of halls is akin to that found in the Ming and Qing dynasties. Tanzhe Temple is one of the oldest temples in Beijing.

Most of the existing buildings in the temple are from the Ming and Qing dynasties, and there are pagodas from various historical periods such as the Jin, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. The two "Emperor trees" by the Hall of Three Sages were planted during the Liao Dynasty about 1,000 years ago.

The spacious and imposing buildings are arranged in three main northsouth axes. Along the central axis are the Archway, the Front Gate, Deveraja Hall, Mahavira Hall and Vairochana Pavilion.

One of the main halls inside the temple

The temple's central hall is its Mahavira Hall. 24 metres in length, 33 metres wide. Buddhist monks regularly perform religious ceremony here.

The temple is divided between the Hall of Abstinence, the Ordination Altar and the Hall to Guanyin. The latter has received fame because of its association with princess Miaoyan, daughter of Kublai Khan. The princess is said to have entered the nunnery here in the 13th century. The indentations can be found on the stone on which she always knelt and prayed within the hall. Supposedly she was also buried within the temple compound.

To the right of the main courtyard lies a separate yard containing stone monuments built in different styles over a period of several centuries and housing the remains of eminent monks.

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Coordinates: 39°54′14″N 116°01′27″E / 39.904016°N 116.024133°E / 39.904016; 116.024133