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 Youning Temple

Youning Temple is a large Tibetan Buddhist temple in Qinghai and is called "Mother of temples on the north bank of Huangshui". In the 10th year of Yongzheng reign (1732 AD), Emperor Yongzheng sent out an imperial decree requiring renovating the temple and titled it "Youning Temple". There were about 20 living Buddhas in Youning Temple, among whom such five living Buddhas as Tuguan, Zhangjia, Sumbu, Quezang and Wangfo were titled "hutukutus" in the Qing Dynasty. Zhangjia Living Buddha is the head of Qinghai hutukutus in Beijing and is called "Imperial Preceptor". Zhangjia Living Buddha, Dalai Lama, Panchen Lama and Jebtsundamba together are called "Four Shamanist Living Buddhas".

Youning Temple is a provincial-level culture relic protection site. Its full name in Tibetan is "Guolong Maitreya Zhou", "Guolong Temple" for short. It is located in Sitan Village, Wushi Township, 35km away to the east of Weiyuan Town, and 65km away from the provincial capital Xi'ning. Established in the 32th year of Wanli reign in the Ming Dynasty (1604 AD), it has a history of 400 years. It is a religious pilgrimage tourist attraction.

In the history, this temple was famous for its large scale, long history and a great number of renowned monks in the Gansu-Qinghai region. Its scale has once surpassed that of Ta'er Lamasery, and as the religious status of the five living Buddhas including Zhangjia is very high, it has been honored as the "Mother of temples on the north bank of Huangshui". According to historical records, this temple had 49 affiliated temples in the Qing Dynasty and the period of the Republic of China and occupies an important place in Qinghai's history of religion. During the Kangxi period in the Qing Dynasty, Youning Temple reached its heyday. There were more than 2,000 yards including scripture halls, monks' dormitories, Angqian etc and more than 7,000 monks and priests in Youning Temple. Equipped with such four institutes as Exotoric Buddhism, Esoteric Buddhism, Kalachakra and Yiming, it is one of the famous Tibetan Buddhist temples.

Youning Temple is the 7th Jiase Living Buddha, with 13 times of reincarnation. There were more than 20 living Buddhas in the temple, including such five senior living Buddhas as Zhangjia, Tuguan, Sumbu, Quezang and Wangfo and nine junior living Buddhas. These five senior living Buddhas were titled "hutukutus" in the Qing Dynasty. They have dignified status and great influences in the history. These five senior living Buddhas are proficient in Tibetan, Chinese, Mongolian, Manchu and Buddhist classics, have numerous works and enjoy a good reputation.。There is a statue of Sakyamuni in the temple, which was made in India. Also, there is an unearthed trinity bronze Buddha, as well as the statues of Dharmapala of Youning Temple and God of Heaven. On the half-slope behind the temple is the tomb of the 1st Zhangjia. All these are rare treasures. From the 2nd day to the 15th day of the first month of the lunar year every year, "Prayer Festival" (Qi-Yuan-Da-Fa-Hui) is held here.

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