The White Dagoba is a Lamaist dagoba, built in 1651, in the Tibetan style. It is located at the top of the Qingonghua Islet on the former site of the Yuan Dynasty’s Palace Guanghandian, which had collapsed almost 80 years earlier, in the days of Yuan Emperor Kublai Khan. Since it belonged to a part of Yong’an si, it was also called the Yongansi White Dagoba. During the 8th year of Emperor Shun Zhi, the first emperor of the Qing Dynasty, advocating Buddhism in the country built the White Dagoba on the island because the emperor intended to consolidate the rule of the Qing regime. Construction of the White Dagoba was also based on a suggestion proposed by a Tibetan Lama priest named Nur Momhan. He said that a white dagoba must be built in order to prolong the life of the country and benefit its people. Emperor Shun Zhi was a devout Buddhist. He had the dagoba built to show his desire for the unification of China’s various nationalities and to show his gesture of devotion to the Buddhist belief, since Emperor Shun Zhi was a pious adherent of Buddhism. The White Dagoba was built on the top of the White Dagoba Hill, 67 meters high from the ground level to the apex of the Dagoba. The Daogoba itself is 35.9 meters high and was built on a 31.1-meter-high square base of huge stone slabs. The body looks like an upturned bowl. There is a gate in the middle3, on the front side of the Dagoba, and the Sutras in the Tibetan Language are carved inside the gate. Fourteen copper bells hang from its copper canopy, on which a gilded ball gives the appearance of a flame on the top of the Dagoba. On the body of the Dagoba, there are 306 air vents made of brick carvings. The Dagoba was damaged by earthquakes and reconstructed and renovated twice in the Qing Dynasty and once in 1976. During the repair in 1976, a small square-sized gold box was found on the Dagoba. The box about seven square centimeters was found at the top of the column supporting the apex of the White Dagoba. In the Dagoba, there were two bean-sized Buddha relics surrounded by cinnabar powder for their protection. It was said that there were some Buddhist scriptures and Buddhist monks’ mantles stored in side the Dagoba. During the Qing Dynasty, every year, on the 25th day of the tenth month of the Chinese lunar month, there would be a big Buddhist ceremony held in the White Dagoba. The whole complex of Yong’an Temple with the main buildings built from the front gate of Yong’an Temple up to the White Dagoba, all along the central axis, gives an impression of one magnificent building after another, up to the top.
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