Ta’er Temple, also known as Kumbum Monastery, is one of the six Gelug Sect temples of Tibetan Buddhism and is renowned for its three arts: butter sculpture, mural painting, and embroidery. Its history can date back to the 16th century when it was founded in a narrow valley near the village of Lusar.
The complex comprises several halls, including the Large Gold Tile Hall, Small Gold Tile Hall, Longevity Hall, Large Classics Hall, Manjusri Bodhisattva Hall, Sakyamuni Hall, Hall for Warrior Attendants of Buddha, Amitabha Buddha Hall, and Time Wheel Tower. Ta’er Temple is also famous for its butter sculptures, which are made during the annual Butter Lamp Festival. The temple has been recognized as a National Key Cultural Relics Protection Unit since 1988.
Fast Facts of Ta’er Temple
- Location: Lusar, Huangzhong County, Xining, Qinghai Province, China.
- Area: 10,000 square meters
- Opening hours: 07:30 to 18:30
- Ticket price: 70 RMB
- Time Needed: 2-3 hours
- Highlights of the temple: Golden roofs, prayer wheels, Buddha statues, murals, and gardens
- Suited to: History and culture lovers, spiritual seekers, and travelers interested in Tibetan Buddhism
What to See and Do in Ta’er Temple
Ta’er Temple is a vast complex with numerous halls, temples, and gardens to explore.
Grand Hall of Golden Tiles
This is the main prayer hall of the temple, featuring a towering statue of the Maitreya Buddha and intricate murals.
Hall of Mahakala
This hall is dedicated to the protector deity Mahakala and features colorful murals and intricate wood carvings.
Hall of Ten Thousand Buddhas
This hall is dedicated to the Buddha and features thousands of small Buddha statues.
Hall of Butter Sculpture
This hall features intricate butter sculptures depicting Buddhist deities and scenes.
The temple has several beautiful gardens and courtyards, including the Sun and Moon Gardens and the Lotus Pond Garden.
Religious rituals and practices
Visitors can observe chanting, meditation, and other religious practices.
Best Time to Visit Ta’er Temple
Ta’er Temple is best visited during the months of April to October when the weather is comfortable and moderate. However, the ideal time to visit is during June and July, as the temple celebrates the birthday of Tsongkhapa with various religious activities and ceremonies. Visitors during this time can also witness the butter sculpture exhibition and the sunning of Buddha thangkas.
Alternatively, visitors can opt to visit in spring or autumn to avoid the crowds and enjoy a more tranquil experience, as there are generally fewer tourists during these seasons.
Attractions Nearby Ta’er Temple
Nearby attractions to Ta’er Temple include:
- Dongguan Mosque is the largest mosque in Qinghai Province.
- Qinghai Lake is a popular natural attraction known for its stunning scenery and birdwatching opportunities.
Getting to Ta’er Temple
Ta’er Temple can be reached from Xining, the capital city of Qinghai Province, through various transportation options.
One option is to take a bus from Xining Bus Station or Xining Railway Station to Huangzhong County where the temple is located. The bus ride takes around 40 minutes and costs 10 RMB.
Another option is to take a taxi from Xining to Ta’er Temple, which takes approximately 30 minutes and costs around 100 RMB. For a hassle-free experience, visitors can also opt to join a guided tour that includes transportation and entrance fees to the temple.