Tuesday, July 18, 2006

China | Beijing | Yellow Temple

As I mention in my Guidebook, Zanabazar, the First Bogd Gegeen, died, perhaps of illness and perhaps assassinated—at the Yellow Temple in Beijing in 1723. I have never seen the Yellow Temple (Shar Süm) mentioned in any guidebook to Beijing and was under the impression that it no longer existed. Through a stroke of luck, however, I was able to find it. The temple complex is located, logically enough, on Huangsi Daije (Chinese for Yellow Temple Street) in the Andingmen district north of the Forbidden City.

The Yellow Temple Complex was originally built in 1651 as a residence for the 5th Dalai Lama during his visit to the Qing Emperor in Beijing.

The outside of the complex has been impeccably restored and is immaculately maintained; in fact, suspiciously so, given the condition of most temples in Beijing. It turns out that the temple is within the grounds of a military complex and all public access to the interior of the compound and the temple itself is strictly probihited.