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Perth, Western Australia, Australia
April 1, 2002
The complex has been protected as a major historical relic since 1949, a fact which may have helped it’s survival during the cultural revolution. The Temple was reopened to the public in 1981 and is home monks and novices from around the country. Photos are allowed in the complex, but not in the buildings themselves and the sections where the monks actually live are not open to the public.
The Temple is set out is very similar to the Forbidden City – the main buildings align along a central axis, with side buildings flanking them. There are also several exhibition rooms, displaying numerous cultural relics, as well as the portraits and history of many of the Dalai Lama. Fortunately many of the exhibits are labeled in English as well as Chinese. The Temple houses a number of famous Buddha statues, including the ‘Big Buddha’ – 18 metres high and carved out of a single piece of white sandalwood. Yes, it is in the Guinness Book of Records!
I visited the lamasery on National Day October 1, 1999. While much of the city ground to a halt, the Temple was still bustling with visitors offering up prayers and incense. Depsite the bustle, the Temple offered a calm and peaceful atmosphere. Wandering amongst the fabulously painted halls and serene gardens was a lovely way to spend the morning.
From journal Bumbling Through Beijing
October 1, 2001
From journal The Trip to China in 2001