FINALLY AT THE UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE TEMPLE OF HEAVEN

by - 11:30 PM

FINALLY AT THE UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE TEMPLE OF HEAVEN

Four years ago, my travel buddy and I arrived at the Temple of Heaven around six in the evening.  It was our last day in Beijing.  The temple complex was closed and so we have to be contented viewing the silhouette of the circular-shaped temple from a distance.

On this recent visit, smog was unbearable on the first attempt and so we aborted the plan.  And finally, on what was supposed to be the last day in Beijing, we decided to go for a morning visit at the vast complex of Tiantan (The Temple of Heaven).


FINALLY AT THE UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE TEMPLE OF HEAVEN

We took the subway Line 5, get off at Tiantan Dongmen Station, leave Exit A and arrived at the East Gate of the park, where the booth for ticket admission is situated.  Admission fee is CNY30 from November 1 to March 31 and CNY35 from April 1 to October 31.  The said admission ticket is inclusive of the Entrance Hall, the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest, Circular Mound Altar and Echo Wall. 

FINALLY AT THE UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE TEMPLE OF HEAVEN

FINALLY AT THE UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE TEMPLE OF HEAVEN

The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest will be the focal point of our visit.  From the East Gate, we walked along the pavements of aligned pine trees with locals doing their morning routine.  At the covered walks, locals converge to play cards, sing and do poetry (I suppose).  We encountered one group where one plays a musical instrument and an elder recites something like a poem or shares a story (that we have to confirm).

FINALLY AT THE UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE TEMPLE OF HEAVEN

FINALLY AT THE UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE TEMPLE OF HEAVEN


Indeed, the best time to visit the temple is during the morning.  The open spaces are used for the local’s morning exercises in the form of tai chi, dancing, biking and jogging.  If not for the below zero temperature, I could have withstand the more hours of sitting in one corner and people watch.


The Temple of Heaven is another UNESCO World Heritage Site ticked off my so-called must visit list.  It is considered the most holy of Beijing’s imperial temples and described as a masterpiece of architecture and landscape design.

FINALLY AT THE UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE TEMPLE OF HEAVEN

FINALLY AT THE UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE TEMPLE OF HEAVEN

Arriving at the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest, there is an admission booth as well for those who only paid for the entrance fee (CNY10) and later on decided to get up close the temple.  It’s an additional CNY20. 

FINALLY AT THE UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE TEMPLE OF HEAVEN

FINALLY AT THE UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE TEMPLE OF HEAVEN

During winter, the façade may not be that overwhelming as the cold mist hovers the structure.  But apparent are the intricate designs and carvings that contributes to the grandeur of the temple.

FINALLY AT THE UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE TEMPLE OF HEAVEN

FINALLY AT THE UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE TEMPLE OF HEAVEN

Images of the Temple of Heaven on varied seasons are constant – constantly photogenic.  While it becomes coincidentally the last to be visited when in Beijing, since it is just within the city center, it nevertheless makes up a good finale for the memories of Beijing, China.

And after two attempts, I have finally seen the Temple of Heaven.


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