Beijing Dajue Temple
Dajue Temple, or the Temple of Enlightenment,
stands at the foot of Yangtai Hill in Beijing's western suburbs.
The rolling hills here are sometimes said to resemble a sleeping
The vista of two flanking temples, the Lotus
Temple and the Temple of Universal Grace-sitting atop Hills
to the west and east of the Temple of Enlightenment, is popularly
described as "A lion Rolling Two Embroidered Balls"
or "A Buddha and Two Bodhisattvas."
The principal structures in the temple are
the Maitreya (Future Buddha) Hall, the main hall, the rear
hall, the northern and southern courtyards and, at the very
rear of the complex, a peaceful courtyard. The roof brackets
and columns of the halls date from the early Ming Dynasty
A mountain spring flows by the Qiyun (Restful
Clouds) Pavilion in the rear courtyard.
By the spring is a stupa which stands at
the highest point in the temple complex.
Inside the temple is a Liao Dynasty (916-1125)
stela on which it is recorded that, more than 1,000 years
ago, the temple was named the Clear Stream Court after the
nearby springs. Although the carving is blurred and the stela
itself broken into two pieces, most of the inscription remains
There are a number of interesting sights
in the immediate vicinity. They include Vulture Peak; the
tomb of a Qing prince; Yang Family Garden and Lotus Temple
and the Temple of Universal Grace. All are accessible by mountain
Minghui Tea House is located in the temple
and offers a tea service with Taoist features.
Dajue Temple is best known for its Yulan
trees, planted almost 300 years ago. The finest being the
magnolias. It is said that a monk brought two of the specimens
found in the southern courtyard from Sichuan during the Qianlong
era, and one of them survives today. Another magnolia in the
northern courtyard was transplanted about 100 years ago, and
grows alongside a ginkgo tree.
The ancient tree usually blossoms around
the April 5 every year, during the traditional Chinese Everbright
Recently some mountain villas were built
near the temple to provide a dining, entertainment and accommodation
service for visitors to the temple.
The most convenient is Miaoling Villa, about
5 kilometers south of the temple.
The villa itself is also worth a visit thanks
to the vast area of Yulan, peach and pear blossoms, and the
Buddhist culture apparent from its layout and decoration.
An inkslab, about 4 square metres, is said
to be the largest in China and is displayed in the villa.
The inkslab is held by nine stone dragons.
The sculpture attracts many visitors.
The villa offers entertainment and sports
facilities ranging from swimming pool, bowling, tennis, sauna,
massage, dance hall, movie house, and shooting.
Different styles of dishes are also available.
For a two-bed suite here, expect to pay
around 380 yuan (US$48) a day. The fee includes some entertainment
To get to Dajue Temple and Miaoling Villa,
take the Badaling Highway to the north and get off at the
Beianhe Exit. Then take Beiqing Road to a T-junction. Turn
left for the villa and turn right for the temple. Check signposts
along the way.
For visitors starting from west of downtown
Beijing, go north beyond the Summer Palace, pass through Heishanhu,
Xibeiwang, Heilongtan (Black Dragon Pool) and the Wenquan
(Hot Springs), and then go through the two villages of Beianhe
and Zhoujiaxiang before coming to a steep path, which leads
to the main gate of the Dajue Temple.
Bus route 346 from the Summer Palace gets
you to Beianhe Nankou Stop. which is 2 km from the temple.