Temple of the Ordination Altar (Jietaisi)

The Jietaisi stands at eh foot of Ma' an (Saddle) Hill, about eight kilometers to the southeast of the Tanzhesi (the Temple of the Pool and the Wild Mulberry). The temple takes its name from its ordination altar, which has a history of 1,300 years.

The famous Ming marble ordination altar stands nearly five meters high and is decorated with unusually fine carvings. Most of the buildings in the temple, however, date from the Qing Dynasty.

Inside the main hall is a three-story wooden altar with steps linking its upper and lower sections. In the northwest part of the compound stands the Hall of a Thousand Buddhas, with a spiral staircase a finely carved Buddha image less than one foot high, cover the walls.

Surrounding the main hall on all sides are a number of intimate courtyards containing exquisite rock formations, old pines and cypresses. The famous trees in the compound include the "Sleeping Dragon" Pine, the "Nine-Dragon" Pine and the "Mobile" Pine. If you pull on any one of the branches of this peculiar tree, all of its branches and leaves will be set into motion as if a strong wind were blowing. The "Mobile" Pine was known at least 200 years ago; Emperor Qianlong left a small stela inscribed with a poem about it.

The temple also contains a Liao Dynasty stupa and a Jin Dynasty stela. Many of the stone pillars covered with the texts of Buddhist sutras have been preserved in near-perfect condition.

Entry ticket: 35 yuan;

Traffic: Take line one subway, or Bus No.s 921, 336 and 959 to Pingguoyuan Station and then change Bus No. 931 to the temple.

Tel: 86-10-69802232, 86-10- 69802645.


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