Great Bell Temple, Beijing - Stein Travel
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Great Bell Temple

The Qing Temple is home to the Ancient Bell Museum (Gu Zhong Bowuguan) and is a must see for travellers en route to the Summer Palace. The temple, originally known as 'Awakened Life Temple', apparently wasn't experiencing enough 'awakening' and a 47-ton bell, with a height of 22.7 feet (6.9m) was transported to the temple on ice sleds in 1743. The bell is inscribed with Buddhist Mantras on both the inside and outside of the body and features over 227,000 characters in all. The bell was often chosen by the emperors to pray for rain and blessings for the people of China and was one of three projects that Emperor Yongle in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) commanded after re-establishing Beijing as the capital; the other two were the Forbidden City and the Temple of Heaven. The bell is considered as an auspicious article in the Chinese tradition and nowadays it is rung 108 times to begin the celebrations at grand ceremonies.

Information & Facts

Address

Bei San Huan Xi Lu 31A

Admission

¥10; ¥12 to climb the Bell Tower

Language

The official language is Mandarin Chinese, but there are hundreds of local dialects.

Money

The currency used in China is the Renminbi Yuan (CNY). The Yuan is divided into 10 chiao/jiao or 100 fen. Make sure you exchange your leftover Yuan before returning home because this currency can be exchanged only within China's borders. Travellers cheques, preferably in US Dollars, and foreign cash can be exchanged in cities at the Bank of China. Banks are closed weekends. The larger hotels and the special 'Friendship Stores' designed for foreigners will accept most western currencies for purchases. Major credit cards are accepted in the main cities at various establishments, but outside the major cities acceptance is limited. ATMs are scarce outside the main cities.

Opening Times

Open Tuesday to Sunday from 8:30am to 4pm

Time

Local time is GMT +8.

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