Ingot Village and Tanzhe Temple visit

Explore the lanes and courtyards of an abandoned village, and then explore the grounds of Tanzhe Temple, one of the oldest in Beijing.

Level 2
3–4 hours of walking over approx. 6km. (Can I do it?)

This hike is not currently scheduled

Contact us for schedule updates or set up a private hike

Incense smoke wafts from an incense burner at Tanzhe Temple
An incense burner at Tanzhe Temple.

On this trip, you’ll get some good—but not tough—exercise, and will have plenty of time to look around Tanzhe Temple. You’ll also get a great meal of Chinese food at one of the restaurants just outside the temple.

The trail begins and ends near Tanzhesi, a temple originally built in the Jin Dynasty (265-420 A.D.) and added to and expanded in succeeding dynasties.

Before visiting the temple we’ll take a stroll around the mostly-deserted but very interesting Ingot Village. The hillside village is made up of many old houses built around courtyards, and includes an old temple and dried up waterways, as well as a precariously balanced ingot-shaped rock.

The houses of Ingot Village cover quite a large area, and are in various states of repair and disrepair. We’ll start off by exploring the temple and courtyards in the upper end of the village before following one of the paved paths downhill, heading for the fields and terraces below the village. The village is now mostly deserted, due to lack of water and the effects of coal mining in the area.

From the lower part of the village we will follow a hill trail up to the main road, with an optional detour to check out a cave hideout used by villagers in the Second World War. From the main road, we’ll follow a nice trail down through a pine forest, ending up at Tanzhe Temple.

Tanzhesi

Tanzhe Temple covers an area of six hectares, and is said to be the oldest temple in the Beijing area, even older than Beijing city. Many of the buildings that can be seen in the temple were built during the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) Dynasties, but pagodas and other structures from the earlier Jin and Yuan (1271–1368) Dynasties still remain, including two ‘Emperor Trees’ that were planted roughly 1,000 years ago.

We’ll take a walk up the central axis of the temple, and then explore the side trails on the way back down.

Also in the temple

The Floating Cup Pavilion, where the Emperor Qianlong and his courtiers used to play an interesting drinking game.
The Big Bronze Boiler, left over from the old kitchens of the temple. It’s said that one boiler-worth of porridge could feed all the temple’s monks for a whole day.
The Diamond Life-Extension Tower, a white stupa by a pool at the northern end of the temple complex.

Nearby the temple

The Pagoda Forest, where pagodas mark where the ashes of important monks are interred. We’ll visit after we’ve finished looking about the temple.

What to bring on this outing

Reasons you might not enjoy this trip

  • There’s not a whole lot of hiking – it’s more of a walk.
  • There is one short but steep hill climb – that part of the day is not so much like a walk!

Because of the COVID-19 situation we have some extra terms and conditions for participation.

In particular:

  • DO NOT participate if you are sick or showing symptoms of fever and/or have an elevated temperature, or have been in close contact with someone who was.
  • DO NOT participate if you have not completed any required quarantine after your return to Beijing.
  • You MUST agree to the mitigation and prevention measures outlined here and that Beijing Hikers will not be held responsible if any participants become sick.

Please read in full here: Operating hikes under COVID-19 precautions

Related content

Photos and trip reports: Ingot Village and Tanzhe Temple visit

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