FolkestoneJack's Tracks

Beihai Park and the White Dagoba

Posted in Beijing, China by folkestonejack on November 19, 2012

I started my day with a morning walk around Beihai Park, an imperial garden for more than a thousand years and the one time home of Kubla Khan. Ever since it was opened to the public in 1925 it has been a popular place to exercise, wander and relax. Indeed, across the park I could see small groups undertaking the most carefully choreographed of movements in the morning light.

The White Dagoba, Beihai Park

The White Dagoba, Beihai Park

The Round City, one of the main sights at the southern extremity of the park, was sadly closed due to renovation work which limited my options. I crossed the Yong’an Bridge and settled for a walk around Qionghua Isle. The park really needed more time to be appreciated than I could give it, but I was keen to get a small taste of the place and climb up to the White Dagoba.

The White Dagoba from close quarters

The White Dagoba from close quarters

The White Dagoba is a striking Tibetan stupa (a mound like structure built to hold Buddhist relics) which is hard to ignore as you enter the park, especially on a day with such clear blue skies like today. It was originally constructed in the 16th century, although it has subsequently been re-built on two occasions after earthquakes took their toll. The walk up was steep but entirely worthwhile.

I paid a small extra charge to walk up and around a small temple sited next to the stupa, offering a view across the Forbidden City and the sprawling metropolis. It was certainly a good way to start the day although I did feel guilty about leaving without seeing the other sights that make this park special.

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