Friday, October 3, 2008

2 Temples 1 Day

Friday October 3, 2008
Sandy's mom wrapped up her visit on Thursday. They arrived at home safe and sound with a wonderful experience to remember. We have about a month left before we head home ourselves and seeing how we are near the end of the national day holiday week we decided to venture out to see the Lama Temple. This temple is actually a working temple with many people coming here to worship. It was pretty active on the day we visited. The road leading to the entrance was lined with shops selling Buddha statues, prayer beads and incense. There were literally a hundred of these shops all selling the same merchandise.

We found the gate and paid our admission of 25 RMB and went in. This is a picture of the gate.

One of the things that you first notice about the temple is the strong smell of incense in the vicinity. You can smell it when you drive by the temple on the second ring road and when you are walking on the temple grounds you can't get away from it. As a matter of fact we could smell it on our clothes when we got home. The belief is that the smoke rising from the burning incense will carry your prayers to heaven. Here you can see the people praying with incense.

The temple buildings are very beautiful and each of them housed Buddha idols of all sorts. I never realized how many different types there were. Seems to be a very complicated religion. Here are some pictures of the temples.

Olivia and Sandy walking up the stairs.

Olivia and Sandy at a prayer wheel.

Me and Olivia.

One of the temple monks.

Prayer flags.

Me and Olivia near a bronze lion.

We headed out of the Lama Temple and saw a side street that looked like a hutong and decided to explore it since it was still early. We had no idea that there was another temple only 100 yards away. We found the Temple of Confucius. We went in to check it out. 2 temples in 1 day pretty cool. This place was quite nice and wasn't as crowded as the Lama Temple.
Sandy posing with a statue of Confucius.

Us and the big drum.

Buildings on the temple grounds.

Me posing with an interesting looking ancient cypress tree.

Sandy near an sacrificial oven.

Next door to the Confucius temple is the Guo Zi Jian (The Imperial College) yet another unexpected find on our day exploring. There is an amazing glazed tile archway which is one of a kind for an educational institute.

This is a shot of the ancient lecture hall.

It was getting late so we decided to head back home. On the way to the subway we walked past this display which was left over from the Olympics. Can you guess what famous Chinese landmark this is?

Only a few more week to go. Stay tuned!

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