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Great Bell Temple Beijings

- Dazhongsi
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The Great Bell Temple is located on the western outskirts of Haidian District in Beijing City. The temple houses China's largest bell made in 1406 under the reign of emperor Yongle in the Ming dynasty. Great Bell Temple was initially built in 1733 during the Qing Dynasty with the original name of Juesheng Temple (Temple of Awakening ). In the winter of 1743 a great bell was installed. Because of the famous bell it houses it has popularly been known as the Great Bell Temple.

The bell is the largest one in China and the second largest in the world. The Great Bell Palace is said to have been made during the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644) and has a history of more than 500 years. It is 7 meters (23ft) high, 3 meters (10ft) in diameter and 46.5 tons in weight. 17 Buddhist scriptures are inscribed on the entire surface of the Bell both inside and out, totaling 227,000 Chinese characters. The Bell is also know as the Avatamsaka Bell because it bears the full text of all 81 volumes of the Lotus Scripture(the Avatamsaka Sutra). It is sometimes referred to as the Yongle Bell since it was cast by the order of Emperor Yongle of the Ming Dynasty in 1406. Originally it was one to the six to be hung at the six corners of the city walls to strike the hours, but now it is the only remaining one. 31 other bronze bells from the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties are on display in the courtyard.

The Great Bell was housed in a Bell Palace. An octagonal Sound Dispelling Pool was built on the terrace of the Great Bell Palace. It is 70 centimeters deep and one meter from the mouth of the great bell. When the bell rings, the pool soon vibrates with the sound.

In a yard to the east of the Great Bell Palace about 40 strange-looking ancient bells are displayed. Bells made during the Song Dynasty (960 - 1279) and the Yuan Dynasty (1271 - 1368) are shaped like barrels. Bells made since the beginning of the Ming Dynasty have mouths like trumpets. This change shows that the Chinese made progress in realizing the acoustics and mechanics. Note that Chinese bells normally do not have clappers like Western bells. They are struck instead with a thick stick. More than 180 ancient bells from past dynasties have been collected inside the Ancient Bell Museum, which was built in 1986, in the Temple. Most are from the Ming and Qing Dynasties. One ancient pottery bell was said to have a history of more than 4000 years.

The Great Bell Temple in the past saw emperors praying for rain, Buddhists conducting Buddhist affairs and travelers visiting. When a new year came during the Ming Dynasty and the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911), the great bell would be struck 108 times. Someone said that human beings have 108 troubles. When the great bell was beaten 108 times, all the troubles and worries would be gone.

Admission Fee: RMB 10
Opening Hours: 08:30 to 17:20
Recommended Time for a Visit: 50 minutes

Chinatravelkey can add visiting of Great Bell Temple on the following Beijing tour Routes:
BH-1. 3 nights 4 days Beijing tour BH-2. 4 nights 5 days Beijing tour
BH-3. 5 nights 6 days Beijing tour BH-4. 6 nights 7 days Beijing tour
BK-1. 2 days Beijing tour BK-2. 3 days Beijing tour
BK-3. 4 days Beijing tour BK-4. 5 days Beijing tour
BK-5. 6 days Beijing tour BK-6. 7 days Beijing tour
BX-1. Xingang Beijing 2 days (no hotel) BX-2. Xingang Beijing 2 days tour
BX-3. Xingang Beijing 4 days tour BJXA-3. Beijing Xian 4 days tour
BJCD-2. Beijing Chengde 6 days tour BJGL-1. Beijing Guilin Tour
BJSH-1. 5 days Beijing Shanghai Tour BJSH-2. 6 days Beijing Shanghai Tour
BJSH-3. Beijing Shanghai Suzhou Tour BJSH-4. 9 Days Beijing Shanghai Suzhou Hangzhou Tour
BJLH-1. Beijing Lhasa Tour BJXA-3. Beijing Xian 4 days tour
BJXA-5. Beijing Xian 9 days tour BJXA-4. Beijing Xian 7 days tour

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