The Five Pagoda Temple


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In the reign of Ming emperor Yongle (reigned 1403-24) a Temple, to be named Zhenjuesi (Temple of the True Awakening), was ordered to be built on this site. It was to house a model of the famous ancient Indian Buddhist temple in Bodhgaya that was presented by an Indian monk Lo the Court. In 1473, in the reign of Emperor Chenghua, a building with five pagodas, based on the Bodhgaya model, was finally constructed here. Ransacked by English and French troops towards the end of the Qing, the temple never recovered its former glory. The five-pagoda building still stands, however, and its stone bas-relief carvings of figures and flowers, which are beautiful and varied, have been preserved. The Five Pagoda Temple is located one kilometer north of the Beijing Zoo in the Haidian district, off Baishiqiao Lu.

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