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Religions

The Buddhist Treasure Houses
\Buddhism was the first foreign religion introduced into China. It is also the most popular religion in the country today. Yunju Temple on Baiyun Mountain to the southwest of the Chinese capital is a treasure house of 1,122 Buddhist sutras engraved on 14,620 pieces of rock. The mammoth project was completed by monks between the Northern Wei period in the 5th century up to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). It is a museum of calligraphy and stone engraving. Dazhong Temple, or Big Bell Temple, is actually called Juesheng Temple. It got its popular name from a king-size bronze bell. The bell inside the temple weighs 46.5 tons and stands 6.94 meters high, with a 3.3-meter circumference and a 22-centimeter thickness at the bottom. What is miraculous is not the size or the weight, but the exquisite workmanship. The interior and exterior of the bell contain an inscription of more than 22,700 words-the full text of the Avatamsaka Sutra. The bell produces a sound that lasts for more than two minutes and can be heard 20 kilometers away. \The murals in the Fahai Temple on the western outskirts constitute another Buddhist treasure in Beijing. The paintings dating back to more than 500 years ago contain on 77 human figures as well as many landscape painting. The sentiments depicted in the paintings convey far more than religious motifs. Yonghegong Temple in the Eastern District is the largest lamasery in Beijing. The main Buddha sculpture in the temple stands 26meters high. It is carved from a log of white sandalwood, a gift from the 7th Dalai Lama to Emperor Yongzhen of the Qing Dynasty.

Taoist Culture
\Taoism is an indigenous religion with a history of 3,000 years.The Taoist temple Baiyun Guan(White Cloud Temple) at Xibianmen in the Western District the largest Taoist center in Beijing. Thy temple has a library of 5,485 volumes of Taoist classics. During the Spring Festival, the fair at Baiyuan Guan is a big tourist attraction.


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