The White Dagoba Temple, also known as Miaoying Temple, is located on Fuchengmen Street in Xicheng District of Beijing, which can date back to the Yuan Dynasty. The temple began to open to the public formally in 1980 and it’s named White Dagoba Temple as there is a huge white dagoba inside it. The White Dagoba is a world-famous huge Tibetan white dagoba, which is also the largest and oldest Tibetan dagoba in China. In 1961, the white dagoba inside the temple was ranked in the list of the first batch of national key cultural relic’s protection units by the State Council of the People's Republic of China.
The White Dagoba Temple mainly consists of the White Dagoba, Tianwang Hall, Yizhuxinjing Hall, seven Buddha Hall and Juliushen Hall. In Juliushen Hall, the original Buddhist temple pattern is well preserved, and it enshrines wood-carving Shakyamuni Buddha, Amitabha Buddha and Medicine Buddha statues of the Qing Dynasty. In the center of Juliushen Hall, there is a white dagoba model and treasures of the temple are on display. In Yizhuxinjing Hall, about 10,000 Tibetan statues of a variety are on display, which is a unique and precious artistic hall of Tibetan Buddha statue. In even Buddha Hall, Shakyamuni and 6 Buddha were once worshipped.
The White Dagoba
Located in the center of the White Dagoba Temple, the magnificent white dagoba is 51 meters tall, composed of the base, the body and the top. The 9-meter-tall base is three-layer quadrate diamond throne covering an area of 810 square meters. The body looks just like an overturned bowl. On the top, there is another small Lama dagoba, which is the unique style of Tibetan stupa. The structure and the characteristics of the white dagoba originated from the tope figures of Ancient India.
The Construction of the Temple
As Kublai Khan (the fifth emperor of the Yuan Dynasty) believed in the Buddha, in the year 1271, he ordered the construction of a Buddhist dagoba under his rule. Thus, designed by a Nepalese technologist, a large white dagoba was built after 8 years of construction. The construction of the dagoba was completed in 1279, and a temple centered on the white dagoba began to be built in the same year, covering an area of 160,000 square meters. The construction of the temple was completed in the year 1288, which was an important project at that time. The decoration of the temple was just like imperial palace, and the Buddha statues and widows inside it were all coated with gold. From then on, the White Dagoba Temple became the royal temple of the Yuan Dynasty.
In the year 1433, the white dagoba was renovated. The temple was also renovated in the year 1457 and was named Miaoying Temple after the renovation, covering an area of 13,000 square meters then. Afterwards, the temple underwent several renovations during the Ming and Qing dynasties. In the late Qing Dynasty, the White Dagoba Temple became of the most famous temple fairs in Beijing and it was very boisterous during festivals. In 1978, the white dagoba was maintained and reinforced again, and Tibetan Tripitaka, wood-carving Avalokitesvara statue, applique cassock, five Buddha crown and a number of other precious scriptures were discovered on the top of the dagoba. In 1997, the temple as well as its buildings was renovated completely and White Dagoba Temple began to open to the public formally in 1998.