Yonghegong Lama Temple and Emperor Yongzheng
For most travelers in Beijing, visiting Yonghegong Lama Temple is a must. From the name of it, surely you know it is a Tibetan Buddhist Temple. But, do you know that it was also the former residence of Emperor Yongzheng in Qing dynasty?Today I am going to help you get to know more about Emperor Yongzheng, the most diligent emperor in Chinese history.
It is no exaggeration to say that Yongzheng was the most diligent emperor in China. His death was probably brought about by a heavy workload. In order to read carefully and give useful comments on the Memorials Submitted to the Throne, he burned the midnight oil and slept less than 4 hours every night during his 13- year reign（1722–1735）. When he died, he left behind thousands of Memorials on which more than 10000 ,000 Chinese characters written by him could be recognized.
Emperor Yongzheng cracked down on corruption and waste. His favorite concubine’s brother took bribes and killed innocent people. Yongzheng placed righteousness above family loyalty and sentenced him to death. Yongzheng hated waste and never threw away any food. He ate his leftovers from dinner table and this was unusual for any emperors in China. Through his efforts China grew richer and richer by day.
As a human being, he also had his hobbies anyway. His cup of tea, however, was a rather modern one. That was COSPLAY! He enjoyed his wigs and costumes very much and asked painters in the palace to draw pictures of him wearing them. Most of the paintings have been preserved and you can easily google them on the internet.
I visit Yonghegong Lama Temple every year. From the pictures above you can see what this place looks like today.
Photo credits: Qianjun Zhao.