Huiyuan Temple

Huiyuan Temple, also called Garthar Chorte in Tibetan Language, is located in Daofu County, Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan province. It is at an elevation of 3,550 meters, 110 km away from the county seat of Daofu, and 13 km away from the Stone Forest in Bamei Town. 

Huiyuan Temple

The initial Huiyuan Temple was built in 1729 when the Zungar (a Mongolian tribe) forces invaded Tibet. For the safety of the 7th Dalai Lama, the government of the Qing Dynasty made a great appropriation and order hundreds of Chinese and Tibetan workers to build the temple. After the completion of the temple, Emperor Yongzheng named the temple and wrote a plaque with the Chinese characters "惠远寺" (Huiyuan Temple). The 7th Dalai Lama lived in the temple for 7 years. The original Huiyuan Temple was in a grand scale and with unique buildings which combines the styles of the Tibetan temples and Chinese temples in other places. It covered 50,000 square meters and had more than 1,000 monk chambers. The temple was encircled by 3 walls from the inside to the outside. The entrance of the main hall of the temple with 9 lifelike dragons (stand for the central government of Qing Dynasty) and 9 lions (stand for the Tibetan local government who carried out political system of combining religious with political rule). This hall made the temple known to home and abroad. In 1838, the 11th Dalai Lama was born at the nearby village of the temple, which added more high reputation on the temple. 

Huiyuan Temple Interior

Historically, Huiyuan Temple has 3-time reconstructions. Some major buildings were once destroyed during the Cultural Revolution (1966 - 1976). The present temple was reconstructed in 1980s. It is as large as the original temple in size. It is known for its grand buildings, cultural relics, and some historical stone steles in Tibetan, Chinese, and Manchu languages. 208 monks live in the temple today. The temple is where all prayer meetings and ceremonial activities are held. Some famous are Molanqinbu (in January), Yaque (in June) and Anque (in November). During the prayer meetings, the tourists and Buddhism believers meet here to chant scriptures, pray for good blessings, and watch the rites of dancing to exorcise demons. 

Huiyuan Temple

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