China | Chengde | More Temples
Puning Si, the Temple of Universal Peace, It was built in 1755 to commemorate the defeat of the Dzungars. Many of the buildings, such as the ones shown here, are just empty shells meant for decoration.
The Mahayana Hall is the centerpiece of Puning Si, and one of the few actual temples. Supposedly modeled on the main temple of Samye Monastery in Tibet, it contains an enormous 75-foot high wooden statue of Guanyin - according to a plaque from the Guinness Book of World Records the largest wooden statue in the world.
The Pule Si (Temple of Universal Happiness) dates from 1766–67, built by Qianlong as a place for Mongols to worship. The are two sections of mixed providence. The Front Section is in traditional Han style. The back is devoted to Tibetan Buddhism, but mimics in appearance the round Temple of Heaven in Beijing. There is a tantric god in in the yab-yum position in the main temple, although it is extremely difficult to see and it is not clear what god it is.
The Ili-miao Temple (or Anyuan Miao—Temple of Appeasing the Borders). Built in 1764. This is a model of the Guerzha Temple once located on the northern bank of the Ili River in what is now Xinjiang, China. The original temple was destroyed during the Dzungarian Wars. The huge statue in the middle is said to be Green Tara, although I saw somewhere else that it is actually Kshitigarbha. The hand gestures are not those usual shown in connection with Green Tara, and the whole statue has a masculine look to it, noticeably lacking the Ample Breasts often given to Green Tara. The lower half of the temple is stone and brick; the upper half wood. The statue of Tara (?) is back with a magnificently ornamented aureole. The temple was built for the 1200 Dzungar Mongol men, and presumably their familes, who settled here in 1759 after the defeat of the Dzungarians by the Qing.