Xilitu Lamasery

Hohhot Xilitu Lamasery, Hohhot Attractions, Hohhot Travel GuideXilitu Lamasery (Xilituzhao si, or Xiaozhao si), Located at the northern end of Shitou lane, the palace was built in the Tibetan style in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). It contained the residence of the 11th Grand Living Buddha, is the largest surviving Lama temple in town.

It is said that Xitituge, who was a teacher of Dalai Lama IV, once ascended to the Holy Seat of Dalai Lama in Tibet. Upon his return, he changed his temple's name into Xilitu Zhao. Xilitu means Holy Seat in Tibetan and Zhao means temple in Mongolian.

Originally a small Buddhist construction during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), it took the temple hundreds of years to expand to its current size. After the reparations and expansions during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), it achieved its current design. Its architectural complex is the splendid Da Jing Tang. The whole building is in the Han Style, except the main hall, Da Dian, which is of Tibetan Style, decorated with colorful glazed tiles on its inner walls and its roofs are decorated with gilded or bronze ornaments, looking shining and magnificent. In the southeast corner of the temple stands a fifty feet high tower, which is quite grandiose.

A stone tablet erected on an order from Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) stands in front of the palace is the biggest of its kind preserved in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

Xilitu Zhao is still active today, and has, since 1735, always acted as the official residence of the Living Buddha, who reins over Buddhist religious affairs in the city. sometimes visitors may come across Tibetan monks and followers in prayer, you may get the chance to see one of the temple festivals, where traditional instruments are played, or you may get the chance to head underneath the temple, where caverns contain graphic depictions of the tortures that will be metered out for those who are sinners in this life, a sort of Tibetan Buddhist version of hell. It is sometimes possible to find a monk who can speak English and can take you around.