Temple of Universal Happiness (Pule si)

Temple of Universal Happiness (Pule si)

Temple of Universal Happiness (Pule si)
4.5
About
Also called the Round Pavilion, this structure was built in 1766 for the representatives of the Kazak, Khalkhas and other dignitaries of minority cultures who wished an audience with Emperor Qianlong.
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles24 reviews
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3
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ChrisMcMillan
Chengde, China200 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
In late March 2007 I visited three of the 'Eight Outer Temples' in the Mountain Resort of Chengde which were done all in one day.

Pule is the smallest and least known of the three we visited. We arrived after lunch on a very warm, sunny spring day. To get there in our CITS coach we drove up a single track road through a small hamlet where we saw China as it would be in history. Small homes with people cooking outside. I don't know if hearing our coach had brought the people out to see it, but we were told that many organised coach parties don't go to this temple.

Driving through the hamlet we saw one or two small 'lap dog' sized dogs wandering about. I didn't recognise them as being any particular breed however.

Pule was built in January 1766 - though this is gleaned from a non-English written web site and I'm sure the whole thing took more than a few weeks to build. Qianlong, one of the Qing Dynasty Emperors was on the throne then. It seems to have some connection with western China tribes.

As with the other two temples and the Summer Palace there are no English signs explaining anything and the guide book I bought in our hotel about Chengde in general looked promising but is lacking coherent English text. Fabulous photos though - as are the postcards.

We also visited the Summer Palace in Chengde, and a group ticket was purchased for all the visits - we visited the Summer Palace the previous afternoon: could be worth checking out this information at your hotel as I certainly haven't seen any information on individual multiple ticketting on English web sites. I have seen one site quoting tickets for the three individual temples and Summer Palace (and for summer and winter prices) plus opening times.

The temple buildings themselves as we walked past them looked a bit sorry for themselves: like many of the places I visited if they hadn't been spruced up already for the Olympics it looked as if they might be in line for it. But that was Xi'an and BeiJing.

What really made the temple for me though was all the bright new flags hanging everywhere. These would be prayer flags though I am not sure if it was the same Buddhist sect as that in Puning and Putuozhongsheng. There were some Tibetan prayer wheels in the same courtyard.

We were not told what we were going to look for in this Temple and its quite a narrow ledge one walks along for a few yards along the side of a building when suddenly into view comes the replica of the 'Altar for Good Harvests, Temple of Heaven': perfect in every detail. We saw it as if it were a mountain top and most of it was hidden from our view by a low roof of another building. However the same Chengde web site tells me the dimensions are exactly the same as that at the Temple of Heaven.

However, there is one difference. At the Temple of Heaven the buildings have more 'animals' placed on the roof edges. It is very noticeable in my photo that there are fewer. This denotes that despite the Emperor's visits to Chengde and his authority in *building* the temple, it is not considered so important.
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Written May 1, 2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

alplan
Vancouver, Canada144 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2013 • Family
No crowds which was fab after Beijing. A steep walk up a poorly kept road which a few in our group struggled with as the bus couldn't drive up. Renovations were in progress but it is out of season. Great views & picture opportunities.
Written October 15, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LiLi167
Wuhan, China16 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Liked how it was a Tibetan style temple, not like the other temples in China. Architecture and style was interesting.
Written March 31, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

MichaelJamesCole
Qinhuangdao, China121 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2016 • Solo
This temple is not the top of the list in Chengde. It's nice because it is quiet and not as crowded, but it's pretty small. The best reason to go here is if you've done all the others or you're starting the longer hike. It could take less than 30 minutes to see the whole temple grounds.
Written October 5, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

YorkHiker
Yorkshire, UK1,391 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2015 • Solo
This temple has some great views from the upper levels. There are also nice views of the temple from the hill at the rear. This temple has some of the best views of the huge Potola Tibetan temple and valley - see my photos for the view. True, this is not the greatest temple in Chengde, but the hike to Hammer Rock is a must - and the hike starts here. Hike to Hammer Rocks and descend by the cable car or cable car path (if it's closed).
Written December 14, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tualev
België10 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2015 • Solo
There were maybe 5 other temple visitors when i was there. You hear no traffic, no loud chinese. Very pleasant change to the bigger temples. Close to the cable ride up to hammer rock.

You can take a taxi to go there, but going back you may have to walk 1 km or so to get to a road where there taxis pass by.
Written September 25, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Janice D
San Diego, CA118 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
We spent a fabulous weekend in Chengde last weekend with our friends including their 5 year old daughter. This temple was among our favorites. There is the summer resort in Chengde which was expensive, and the eight outer temples. The resort was so-so. Very dusty and looked as though nobody had touched it since empress Cixi was there! The Temple of Happiness also needs to be better cared for but it's much more beautiful than many temples. Lots to see.
Written September 28, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

A.MACCA
UK455 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2011 • Couples
My favourite temple in the area..wonderous

Amazing temple to walk around and admire the beauty of the art and architechure
Written June 19, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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Temple of Universal Happiness (Pule si), Chengde

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