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0195 History of the Expedition in Asia, 1927-1935 : vol.2
History of the Expedition in Asia, 1927-1935 : vol.2 / Page 195 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000210
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The roof-terrace of the Hsin-kung, with its square stone flags, was still in a good state of preservation; and each corner was embellished with a pavilion. Our attention was caught immediately by the golden double roofs of Hsin-kung's most famous temple-pavilion, that standing in the square courtyard, for these were the most richly and artistically decorated of all the roofs in Jehol. Eight scaly, gilded dragons with raised heads, humped backs, and twisting tails kept watch over the temple and its gods; and on the lower roof eight golden sea-elephants lifted their trunks.

The temple had three storeys. On account of the surrounding galleries the interior rests in almost complete darkness. In the Hsin-kung, as in the Potala, the Tibetan and Chinese styles of architecture were intermingled in a pleasing and effective manner. The main temples, containing the sanctuaries, were purely Chinese; the great surrounding walls and dormitories, Tibetan.

To the north of the central pavilion are grouped several very stately temple-buildings in noble Chinese style. One of these was badly damaged: about a third of the outer roof had caved in. On Hsin-kung's highest slope farthest to the north there is a seven-storey pagoda covered with green and yellow faience, serving as an outpost to the hill-country behind.

The visit of the third Tashi Lama

By building a special monastery-temple and giving it the same name as the TASHI LAMA'S own monastery in Tibet, the Emperor CH'IEN LUNG showed the Grand Lama of Tibet the greatest courtesy. At the same time he explained that he was only following the example set by his august ancestor, the Emperor SHUN CHIN, when he built the Yellow Temple in Peking as a sanctuary for the fifth


In the emperor's own records in the Hsin-kung one cannot fail to notice the eagerness with which he emphasizes the fact that — unlike the DALAI LAMA one hundred and thirty years before — the TASHI LAMA was coming on his own initiative and by his own wish. The emperor had not the slightest desire to trouble him, any more than anyone else, to bring his good wishes for his birthday; but when the TASK LAMA himself had asked for an audience it would have been unbecoming to refuse him or prevent his journey. And now, when the Grand Lama arrived, he would find in Jehol a temple-monastery where he would feel at home, and could give himself up to meditation.

If, however, we compare the emperor's statement with contemporary English accounts of the reasons for the TASHI LAMA'S visit, we get a very different, and probably more trustworthy, conception of the whole affair.

At that time the great WARREN HASTINGS, in the service of the East India Company, was the first Governor-General of India. In 1774 a frontier conflict had