Chengde Temple of Universal Joy (Pule Temple), China

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Temple of Universal Joy

The Temple of Universal Joy (Pule Temple) lies on the hillside, two kilometers to the east of the Wulie River in Chengde City.

It is commonly called "round pavilion". The temple was built against the terrain and the door of the temple is facing west, meaning that Buddhist door is facing Western Ultimate World. The door faces west also because the Mountain Summer Resort of Qing Dynasty is in the west.

The monks read scripture facing the mountain every day. It also means that the tribes outside submit and obey themselves to the rule of imperial court, anyway the idea is everything facing west.

The Temple of Universal Joy was built in January in 1766. Legends say that in the last autumn, when Emperor Qianlong went hunting in the Mountain Summer Resort area, he saw a flat ground from there he can see the beautiful scenery of Qinghui Peak in the east. He decided to build a temple on this ground.

When the temple was completed, many tribes from the western region such as Menggu, Hasake, and Bulute ordered envoys to affiliate with imperial court, they came to meet with Emperor Qianlong and looked at this temple with reverence.

With this newly completed temple and all the envoys there the same time, makes Emperor Qianlong very happy. At once, he named this temple the "Temple of Universal Joy" and it means universal joy.

The Temple of Universal Joy covers an area of 24,000 square meters, and the layout is rectangle and it is divided into two parts front and back. From the front entrance, there is the bell and drum tower, Tianwang palace, and Zongyin palace.

There enshrined the statues of the Gautama, Yaoshi Buddha, and enshrined in Zongyin Palace is Emituo Buddha and eight Bodhisattvas on each side.

The rear of the Temple of Universal Joy is the place to collect and spread scriptures. There are tablet pavilion, series of Tibetan style pavilions and east-hill gate. A stone tablet is standing in the tablet pavilion and on it is the tablet record of the Temple of Universal Joy by Emperor Qianlong.

The series of pavilions are also called altars with three layers. There is a quadratic three-layer platform and on it, there is a round palace. It is the place where Lama can study Mizong and it is called "Xuguan Pavilion". The style of this pavilion was imitated the Qinian Palace of the Temple of Heaven in Beijing.

Its appearance is also round is 21 meters wide and it is 24 meters high. There are 12 eaves pillars and gold pillars respectively. The pillars are covered with yellow glazed tiles. The carving is very exquisite and beautiful.

The Temple of Universal Joy is one of the eight stylish temples out of the Mountain Summer Resort. It is famous for construction on its decorations and the Buddha enshrined in the temple. Either on the appearance or on the designs of this temple marks the finest workmanship in temple construction.

It made the list of the Chinese Emphatic Preservation Unit of Cultural Relics in 1961. The characteristic of different cultures on different tribes and their construction arts of temples, are attracting visitors mainly because many minorities tribes are gathered here in Chengde City during Qing Dynasty.

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