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Qutan Temple a key historical site under national protection

by Meirong Lee
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Qutan Temple

The Qutan Temple is situated in the Maquan Gully in Luohan Mountain, Qutan Town of Ledu County, over 80 kilometers from downtown Xining. It is a key historical site under national protection. With an area of about 35,000 square meters, the magnificent temple of Tibetan Buddhism features an architectural style popular in the Han Dynasty. Rulers of the Ming Dynasty promoted Tibetan Buddhism in order to strengthen its governance of Tibet. Under such a political circumstance, Sanluo Lama built the temple in 1392, the 25th year under the reign of Zhu Yuanzhang (1328-1398), the founding emperor of the Ming Dynasty.

In the next year, Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang named the temple Qutan after the Buddhist monk Shakyamoni. The unique Han architectural style of the temple not only sets it apart from other Buddhism temples around but also gave inspiration to builders of many Han-style temples of Tibetan Buddhism in Beijing and Chengde during the Qing Dynasty.

Qutan Temple

Transport: Take a bus from Xining to Lanzhouin Gansu Province, and get off at Nianbo Town of Ledu County. The distance is about 90 kilometers.

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