Jietai Temple is located 35km (22 miles) west of
Beijing and only 8km (5 miles) from Tanzhe Temple. Jietaisi, or
temple of the ordination altar, takes its name from its famous Ming
marble ordination altar. Built some 1,300 years ago, this altar
is nearly 5 meters (16ft) high and is decorated with delicate and
The temple was first built in 622AD during the
Tang dynasty but most of the buildings in this temple date from
the Qing dynasty (1644-1911AD).
Surrounding the main hall are a number of courtyards
containing rock formations and old pine and cypress trees. The temple
is renown for its ancient trees that are the subject of many songs.
It is said that the Chinese scholar tree known as the protector
of Buddhism found on the grounds, is more than 1,000 years old.
Other famous trees include "nine dragon tree" which has
9 branches that reach up to the sky like 9 flying dragons and the
"mobile tree" which trembles even when only one branch
is slightly touched.