It is the largest lamasery and one of the best preserved lama temples at the present time in Beijing .It is also a well –known monastery of the Gelugpa, the Yellow Sect of Tibetan Buddhism in Mainland China.
Built in 1694, originally , Lama temple we called it ‘Yong hegong‘ in chinse was a residence of the Prince Yinzhen , the fourth son of Emperor Kangxi in Qing dynasty. In 1723, Prince Yong came to the throne and moved into Forbidden City .He turned half of his old residence into a temple for monks of the Yellow Sect,and another half residence for his personaluse.Unluckily his personal use part was burnt down , and only the temple was left .
Emperor Yongzhendied and his son ,Hongli succeeded his throne and became Emperor Qianlong .Emperor Qianlong kept his father ‘s coffin in the Yonghegong for almost a year before buring in the imperial tomb.Emperor Qianlong upgraded Yonghegong to the status of an imperial palace by replacing the green tiles of the roof with the yellow ones ,for the yellow color was the imperial color in the old days.In 1744 , it was formally converted into a Lamasery .
In 1981 , it was open to public. Now , there are 100 lamas in Lama temple and most of them are from Mongolian, Tibertans ,Qinghai.