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0263 History of the Expedition in Asia, 1927-1935 : vol.2
History of the Expedition in Asia, 1927-1935 : vol.2 / Page 263 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000210
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On August 18th the floor of local limestone was finished, and on the ground around the platform a flagstone walk was laid.

The plan here reproduced as Fig. 22 will give an idea of the dimensions of the temple. It should be observed that the building has practically no walls except in its four corners, where the short walls have a height of only 4 feet 6 inches. All the rest consists of wooden grille windows and doors on all four sides. The lower roof is borne by the twenty-eight outer columns of the loggia, 16 feet 6 inches high, and the twenty wall-columns, 3o feet high; while the upper roof is supported on twelve columns surrounding the sacred temple-hall, 37 feet 6 inches high. The top of the stuia finial is 68 feet above the ground.


I do not propose to describe in detail the furnishing of the interior; I shall restrict myself to a mention of the main features.

The furnishing was carried out in the main according to detailed instructions from MONTELL.

A large portion of the temple-hall is occupied by four long prayer benches covered with prayer rugs of various patterns. In front of the two middle benches are located the prayer tables on which all the sacred scriptures and other accessories for the reading of prayers are placed.

On the main altar, a carved stone table, rests the largest of all the images, representing the great Avalokiteçvara whose incarnation is the Dalai Lama in Lhasa, and who is the patron saint of Tibet and the protector of its capital. The image is made of lacquered wood, and dates probably from the late Ming dynasty.

On either side of the central figure there is a high pagoda of seven storeys, with fifty-six small niches containing Buddhas; and from the eaves of each roof there hang small brass bells. This arrangement is exactly the same as in the original Golden Pavilion of Jehol.

In front of the central figure is a large lacquered table with many lamaistic symbols and various kinds of sacrificial gifts. Above the head of the central figure is a very beautiful tanka or temple-banner.

Opposite the central figure and with its back to the entrance wall stands the magnificent throne-chair and screen of the Grand Lama of Peking. On the back of this screen, and facing the entrance, sits a shining »Laughing Buddha » (or »Potbellied Buddha ») made of solid wood covered with red-gold lacquer. The chair is very broad, and is made of the same material and richly carved.

On each side of the hall are assembled different lamaistic images surrounded by their various cult objects. Precious old embroideries and other very beautiful Chinese textiles adorn the hall; and mounted on the wall are some precious Lama