Dazhao Temple

Hohhot Dazhao Temple, Hohhot Attractions, Hohhot Travel GuideAlatan Khan, the chief of Tumd Tribe, began to believe in Buddhism when he was old. In accordance with his order, a lamasery was built in 1579 and given the name Dazhao Lamasery (Dazhao means "big" in Mongolian), which is located in the north of Dazhao Street of the old town. Dazhao Temple (Dazhao si) is the largest Gelukpa (Yellow Hat Sect) temple in town. It used to be a place where the feudal upper class enshrined and worshiped Buddha. It is a wooden building that is best preserved in Hohhot.

Although built in 1579, during the Ming Dynasty(1368-1644 AD), the Temple was rebuilt in 1640, and today much of the temple retains the look from this period. As the temple enshrines a 2.5-meter-tall statue of Buddha made completely of silver, it is also called "Silver Buddha Temple." The Third Dalai Lama from Tibet visited Dazhao to chair the "opening-the-light" Buddhist ceremony. The Lamasery boasts a large collection of religious relics, of which the silver statue of Buddha, dragon sculpture and frescos are the best known. During the reign of Emperor Kang Xi of Qing Dynasty, the main hall of the Lamasery also enshrined a gold plate with written words: Long Live Emperor and the roof was improved with yellow glazed tiles. It therefore became an "imperial temple." Dazhao is the earliest lamasery established in the Inner Mongolian during the Ming and Qing dynasties. In respect to this imperial favor, from this time onwards the temple also became one of the few in the province that nullified the practice of choosing a new living Buddha after the old had passed away. The temple is interesting if you are into your Chinese architecture, especially of the Ming Dynasty period. Despite recent renovations, there are a few halls that retain their original style, especially the well preserved Ming wooden hall that holds the silver Buddha and various murals depicting the emperor's visit. If this does not hold your attention, then the houses around the temple are also of interest, old, adobe constructions with colored glass windows, and small windy lanes.