The Temple of Azure Clouds, or Biyun Si, lies at the foot of the Western Hills. Its landmark the Diamond Throne Pagoda can be seen towering amidst green trees from a far distance.
(Photo source: qzcts.com)
The Temple was first built in 1366 before the collapse of the Yuan Dynasty. Under the Ming two powerful eunuchs, Yu Jing and Wei Zhongxian, had it expanded at various periods, trying to make it their burial ground, but they didn't succeed. In 1748 during the Qing Dynasty, large-scale construction work was done. The Hall of Arhats designed after the Jingci Monastery in Hangzhou and the Diamond Throne Pagoda at the rear of the temple were built in that period. Before liberation, the buildings in the temple were quite rundown. Since 1954, they have been renovated and painted anew, and Sun Yat-sen Memoriai Hall was rebuilt to pay tribute to this great pioneer of the Chinese revolution.
Entering the gate you can see the Bell Tower and the Drum Tower, one on each side.
Wei Zhongxian cleverly rose to power by obtaining a position as purveyor of food to the concubine of Emperor Wanli's son, and later, in the 1620s, dominated the court life of Wanli's grandson. At the peak of his influence, Wei Zhongxian was able to publish historical works bilittling his bureaucratic enemies, and to order that temples in his honour be erected all across China.
How to get there (Source: beijingbg.com)
By bus :
331, 904, 737, 714, 833, 733, 318, 360, mini-23, mini-66. There are two main visitor entrances on Xiangshan Nanlu and Xiangyi Lu.
By car :
From Summer Palace: Continue straight onto Xiangyi Lu and drive 10 kilometers and turn right to the parking lot.
From the Fifth Circle Highway :
Exit at Fragrant Hill; drive 0.8 kilometers and turn right to the parking lot.
There is a visitor entrance and attended parking (for a fee) at South Gate.
Parking lot opens at 8 am and close at 6pm. There is no overnight parking. Buses only when space is limited.
Nearby Tourist Spot: Beijing Botanical Garden
Edited by CRIENGLISH.com
Back to "Buddhist Temples in Beijing"