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Wudangzhao Lamasery
CCNPIC www.ccnpic.com  By Evelina

Wudangzhao Lamasery (Wudang Zhao) is surrounded by mountains. Located about 70 kilometres northeast of Baotou, the branch of Buddhism practiced here is of the Yellow Hat Sect (Gelukpa), which has had a strong following in Mongolia ever since the Mongols invaded Tibet in the 13th century. In modern times, this area is still attracting a multitude of pilgrims.

110390-02804 内蒙古包头五当召藏传佛教建筑

ID:001-6281 Wudangzhao Monastery   Picture Sources:ccnpic.com Yang Guang


Wudangzhao is the largest Tibetan Buddhist temple in Inner Mongolia. It is a state-level key relics protection unit. Because it was built in the Wudang Gully of the Daqing Mountain, it is named "Wudangzhao". Built during the reignof Kangxi in the Qing Dynasty, Wangdaozhao is the biggest Tibetan Buddhist temple in Inner Mongolia. With an area of over 300 mu, it has 2,530 storehouses. In its prime, there were over 1200 lamas in the temple. Wudangzhao Temple is one of the three major temples of Tibetan Buddhism together with the Potala Palace in Tibet and Ta'er Monastery.


The Wudangzhao Lamasery is the biggest tourist attraction near to the city, and thus is often flooded with both Chinese and foreign faces, that somewhat swamp the charm of the place. The Lamasery itself is of traditional, pretty Tibetan architecture, with white walls and flattened roofs, and was allegedly modeled after its distant Tibetan cousin, the Tashilhunpo Monastery in Shigatse.

018-9026 内蒙古包头五当召洞阔尔殿

ID:018-9026 Wudangzhao Monastery   Picture Sources:ccnpic.com


The 250-year-old Lamasery  is the largest of its kind in western Inner Mongolia. The style of Buddhism that is practiced here, of the Yellow Hat Sect (Gelukpa), has a strong following in Mongolia, ever since the Mongols invaded Tibet in the thirteenth century, and nowadays this area still attracts pilgrims in a multitude. The Lamasery is named Wudangzhao, literally Willow Lamasery in Mongolian, because the area around the temple has long been covered by these wispy trees.


In its prime Wudangzhao Lamasery had over 1,200 resident monks, but these numbers have dwindled down to but a few, leaving the 2,500 room complex active, but filled mainly by tourists and believers. The complex was built in 1749, and covers a total area of approximately 50 acres. It has been home to a number of "Living Buddhas", seven of whose ashes have been deposited in one of the main halls. In total the place has six main halls, the Sugabi Prayer Hall (Sugabi tang) being the most elaborate. There are also a large collection of Buddhist art in the lamasery, ranging from ancient sculptures to murals of gold, silver, copper, wood and even soil.


Wudangzhao Lamasery is composed of six halls for chanting Buddhist scriptures, three Living Buddha mansions, one mausoleum and multiple lama dormitories. All of the buildings have a Tibetan-style, flat-topped, square structure. All of the buildings have a Tibetan-style, flat-topped and square structure. All the buildings have a special appeal at different levels. Among the pine and cypress trees, the temple looks even grander.

110740-00110 阴山古刹五当召

ID:018-9026 Wudangzhao Monastery   Picture Sources:ccnpic.com  Hang Bo


Suguqin Hall: Built in 1757, it is the biggest building in Wudangzhao, located in the forefront of the temple. The front hall is for chanting Buddhist scriptures. The Sakyamuni statue and 31 Bodhisattva statues are in the center. There are frescos depicting Sakyamuni's life story on both sides of the hall. Suguqin Hall is the gathering place of the temple.


Dongkuo'er Hall: Built in 1749, Dongkuo'er is a central building of Wudangzhao, as this was the place for the teaching of astronomy, geography, divinity, the calendar and mathematics. It was also named the "Auspicious and Mathematics School." Every March 15, an academic exam was held here. Both the examinees and examiner stood on the spacious platform in front of the hall. The examiner asked questions and the examinees answered and argued with each other.


Queyilin Hall: Built in 1835, it was second in scale only to Suguqin Hall. This was a place for special instruction in doctrine, and was therefore known as the "Religion Department" or "Philosophy School." The highest Sakyamuni Buddha bronze statue in Wudangzhao is in the hall. With a height of 10 meters, it is the biggest bronze Buddha statue in Inner Mongolia.

110509-00082 五当召

ID:110509-00082 Wudangzhao Monastery   Picture Sources:ccnpic.com  Qu Zhengbing


Ahui Hall: Built in 1800, this was the place for medical education. Therefore, it was called the "Medical Department" or "Medical School." Two wings —— "Esoteric Recipes" and "Medicine" —— were set up. The 18 arhat and the four deva-kings of the four quarters statue, steep and vivid clay sculpture cave, apothecary Buddha, Amitabha and White Tara are worshipped in the hall.


Rimulun Hall: Built in 1892, it was a Doctrine Department and the place to study the history of Lamaism and its doctrine and canons. A bronze statue of Tsongkhapa with a height of 9 meters is worshipped in the center of the hall and the statue is the biggest one of Tsongkhapa in Inner Mongolia. One-thousand small statues of Tsongkhapa are worshipped in the two areas upstairs and downstairs. (CCNPIC Evelina)

(Article Resource: www.ccnpic.com)
Wudangzhao Lamasery [Photos]
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