Ten Thousand Happiness Pavilion

Ten Thousand Happiness Pavilion

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This pavilion is also named the Tower of the Great Buddha. In the centre of the building is a huge statue of Maitreya, Buddha of the Fufure, carved out of a single trunk of white sandalwood. It is 26 metres high, 18 metres above the ground and 8 metres under the ground, and 8 metres in diameter. It was a gift for Emperor Qianlong from the Seventh Dalai Lama. The temple was converted into a lamasery in1744, but this part-was not completed until 1750. Emperor Qianlong felt that the area at the rear of the lamasery was too bare and planned to build a high tower as a protective screen, but it was very difficult to find a sandalwood tree of such size. The Tibetan envoy heard this in Beijing and told the Seventh Dalai Lama about it. Shortly afterwards, he sent people to look for a huge tree. Finally he found one in Tibet and sent it here as a gift to the Emperor to express his thanks because Emperor Qianlong had sent troops to Tibet to put down a rebellion and turn back the power to the Seventh Dalai Lama. It took three years to ship this huge tree to Beijing and another three years for carving and erection. The hall was built later.  In 1750 it was entirely completed. Behind the Great Buddha, there are ten thousand small Buddhas on three storeys. Hence the name, Ten-Thousand-Happiness Pavilion.

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