Lying at the foot of Hongluo Mountain, seven kilometers from the Huairou District, Hongluo Temple was first constructed in the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317-420). Because of the beautiful fairytale of Goddess Red Conch, local people call it Red Conch (Hongluo) Temple. The Hongluo Temple is one of the largest and most extensive Buddhist temples located in northern Beijing. The temple is widely considered to be the most significant Buddhist temple in northern China (Putuo Temple is its southern counterpart) and is also where qi gong breathing meditation was developed.
In ancient China the temple's abbots were appointed by the emperor, and lots of eminent monks who had a good command of Buddhist doctrines lived in the temple. An old saying goes: "Putuo Temple is the most famous in south China; and Hongluo Temple in north China." It backs on to Red Conch Mountain in the north, and faces Red Conch Lake in the south, hidden among ancient pine trees. In the area scatter three wonders such as "Imperial Bamboo Forest," "Male and Female Gingko Trees," and "Purple Rattans Twining Round the Pine Tree." Thanks to the development of the past many years, the area now has six main scenic zones: Red Conch Mountain, Hongluo Temple, Avalokitesvara Temple, Chengxiu Garden, Songlinyu Garden and Garden of 500 Arhats. Scenic spots and cultural sites are perfectly combined in the area. Hongluo Temple hasn't so far been renovated to Disney Land style standards - paint is worn away in parts, stones are cracked with plants creeping through and intricate cobwebs snuggle into dusty corners - resulting in the temple retaining a rather authentic air.
The tradition of a "temple fair" (Miao Hui) began as groups of vendors who did business near Buddhist and Taoist temples when many pilgrims came to pay tribute to the gods during traditional festivals. Now temple fairs are an important and joyful destination for Chinese people during festivals, most especially the Spring Festival, or Chinese New Year. Hongluo Temple Fair is one of the only fairs in Beijing held in a functioning temple, and many people make the pilgrimage every year to enjoy the temples profound sense of Buddhist culture and the scenic splendor of the classical buildings. During Spring Festival, the abbot will hold prayer meetings and give benedictions to the visitors.
1)Train L815 departs at Beijing North Railway Station at 06:30 every day in the morning to the temple, and returns to the city proper at 16:00.
2)Take bus No. 916 or No. 936 at Dong-zhimen Long-distance Bus Station, get off at Huairou Bus Stop, and then change a mini bus to go to Hongluo Temple.
3)Those driving a car may go along Jingshun Road to Huairou, and then run along Huaifeng Highway.
Opening hours: 07:30-18:00 (Apr. 1-Oct. 31); and 07:30-17:30 (Nov. 1-Mar. 31)