Tanzhe Temple is one of the oldest temples in Beijing, and it’s well worth a look about.We added some extra fun by exploring a nearby ruined village before our visit to the temple.
We used to visit a different abandoned village close to the temple, but all the interesting old houses are in the process of being knocked down and replaced with what’s going to become the “Yangpoyuan Sightseeing Park”. Not much to look at, in our opinion.
Our local friend said there was a better place to visit. The day before the trip we went out to check, and discovered he was right! The hillside village had plenty of shade, fresh mulberries growing wild, and lots of old, spooky, abandoned houses to look about.
After visiting the village, we headed to Tanzhe Temple for a tour of the temple and nearby Pagoda Forest. Tanzhe Temple is one of the biggest in Beijing’s West Mountains, and there’s been a temple there since the Jin Dynasty (265–420). Successive dynasties repaired and added to the temple, and there’s really a lot to see out there.
Bee farmers harvesting fresh honey. They told us they make a seasonal circuit of China, going to places in Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Hunan, and Shanxi, amongst others.
Hikers trek in the shade, heading up to the village.
Exploring the village, mostly abandoned after residents moved out.
Taking a good look from the window of one of the newer buildings.
Our local guide helped us find these underground tunnels, built to help hide from marauders during war.
A sandal-wood calendar depicting a local deity of wealth named Cai Shan.
Hiking guide Tina helping to explore an old village home.
At Tanzhe Temple we took a look about a “Pagoda Forest”.
A closer look at the decorations of one of the pagodas.
One of the halls inside the temple.
Hikers observing the activities at the temple.
Candles shaped like lotus flowers.
Making a prayer for good luck.
Reaching out to touch the prayer tree.
Taking some photos on a clear day.
A family taking a look at the floating cup pavilion. (See next photo for what they’re looking at.)
The floating cup pavilion was used by the elite during the Jin Dynasty as a sort of drinking game. If a cup floated to a stop in front of you, you had to compose a poem on the spot or drink down all the alcohol contained in the cup.
This is the Magnolia Tea Shop at the temple.
Lunch time after the hike.