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Also known as the White Stupa Temple, this famed Chinese Buddhist shrine dates to the 13th century, when Kublai Khan commissioned it to help unite the Mongols, Han and Nepalese. He is said to have decided on the size of the temple by having archers fire arrows in all four directions.

The present-day building dates to the Ming dynasty, and is best known for its white Tibetan-style stupa (or dagoba) as well as its collection of thousands of Tibetan Buddhist statues. The temple came under man-made threat during the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s, but was saved when Premier Zhou en-Lai named it a national treasure.

 In 1976 the building was badly damaged in an earthquake, which actually caused the stupa to tilt to one side. In 1978 the government began repair and renovation that’s ongoing to this day.

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