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14:33 Dec 24 2009

Photo album of TibetSpecial ReportMedia Voice
English>>Tibet Online
Travel pick: There's a "Little Tibet" in China
10:54, December 22, 2009  

Potaraka Doctrine Temple (CRI online Photo)

Tibet is attractive and charismatic for both Europeans and Chinese. However, it is still considered a luxury for many people to visit Tibet, known as the Roof of the World. On the other hand, some people are extremely fearful of the thin air in the Himalayas. Therefore, a trip to Chengde, a city only 500 meters above sea-level, is a new choice for many because they can spend much less money and need not worry about their own health.

During the Qing Dynasty (between 1644 and 1911), a group of special temples called the Eight Outer Temples emerged on the gently rolling hills around the Chengde Mountain Resort. They integrated the unique building techniques of the Han and Manchu people, as well as the Mongolians. The integration of different architectural styles symbolized the unification of China. The temples fully embody various ethnic characteristics. For example, Tibetan elements have been reflected by the Potaraka Doctrine Temple.

The Potaraka Doctrine Temple is an imitation of the Potala Palace in Lhasa. It is half the size of the palace in Lhasa and was built in 1771 to celebrate the 60th birthday of the Emperor Qianlong. The magnificent temple astounds everyone. Its roof is made from pure gold and one can climb to the roof and look down at the surrounding beautiful scenery. Despite the fact that there are some flags and prayer wheels at the top, the nearby green hills will make anyone realize that they are in Hebei, and not remote Tibet.

Puning Temple means eternal peace. It was built based on the Samye Temple which is located beside Lhasa. Although there is no Tibetan butter tea and Buddhist devotees kneeling to worship the Buddha in Puning Temple and Potaraka Doctrine Temple, people here can still have the feeling that they are standing in Tibet, the Roof of the World.

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