Buddha Statue, Yonghe Temple in Beijing

Maitreya: Buddha Of A Future Age

The Yonghe Temple is a glittering attraction in Beijing Buddhist firmament. It’s the place where riveting roofs, fabulous frescoes, magnificent decorative arches, tapestries, eye-popping carpentry, Tibetan prayer wheels, tantric statues and a superb pair of Chinese lions mingle with dense clouds of incense. However, the pinnacle of the complex is inside the fifth hall: a magnificent 18m-high statue of the Maitreya Buddha, a messianic Buddhist figure, in his Tibetan form, clothed in yellow satin and reputedly sculpted from a single block of sandalwood.