lamas-and-emperors



Dolonor (Monglian: Doloonuur; “seven lakes”) and Huizong Monastery

Dolonor (present-day Duolun city, Inner Mongolia, Chin.: 多伦) is located in southern Inner Mongolia, on one of the major passageways to Beijing from areas north of the Great Wall. Its importance cannot be understood without mentioning the Dolonor Meeting (May, 1695, the 30th year of the Kangxi reign), which was the watershed moment in terms of the relation between the Qing court and the Mongols in the early Qing dynasty. During this meeting, the attending Khalkha Mongol elites appealed to the Kangxi emperor to build a monastery as a memento. The Kangxi emperor therefore chose Dolonor to be the site. In 1696, Dolonor Monastery was built by imperial order.

After numerous renovations in the following twenty years, by 1714, the 53rd year of the Kangxi regime, the monastery became one of the finest embellished monasteries north of Beijing. It was renamed Huizong monastery (汇宗寺) by the Kangxi emperor upon the request of the then abbot-lama. “Huizong” means gathering all sects together (like rivers flowing to the sea). The major hall of this monastery was destroyed by fire during the Xianfeng reign (1851-1861).

Most of the renovations were sponsored by the Imperial house. In 1702, Dorje Hutuktu was assigned as the abbot-lama. By 1732, Jebstun Choden (Zhebesang quedan哲布桑却丹, *rje bstun chos ldan), another Lama among the four lamas moved to Dolonor. Since then, the city of Dolonor became even more important in terms of Tibetan Buddhism being practiced in Mongolian communities in that region.

Dolonor’s importance can be mainly attributed to the imperial patronage and promotion. A twenty-year long renovation project was financially supported by the Kangxi emperor. The Kangxi emperor visited Dolonor once every two years and sent major business entities to Dolonor under the supervision of the Lifan Yuan. After the establishment of the monastery, the population in Dolonor increased tremendously, and many craft workshops emerged here. Moreover, the two massive temple fairs (Great Prayer Assemblies “祈愿大法会”) in each January and June attracted many pastoral residents from neighboring areas. Eventually Dolonor became known as a big city. The Kangxi emperor was so impressed when he visited Dolonor in 1714 that he commented that: "[The city of Dolonor] has become a metropolis."

Sources:
  • Narchaoktu 那仁朝格图, “Prince Yunli and the Monglian Version of Fuzang Scriptures” 果亲王允礼以及蒙译伏藏经,Studies in Qing History 清史研究,Aug, 2002 No. 3, 99-105.
  • Gao, Yali and Liu, Qingbo 高亚利 刘清波, “The Establishment and Development of the Huizong Monastery, Dolonor” 多伦汇宗寺的兴建及演变,Antique Essays 文物春秋,2004, No.5, 14-19.
  • Guo, Meilan 郭美兰, “Emperor Kangxi and Huizong Monastery at Lake Dolonor” 康熙帝与多伦诺尔汇宗寺,Journal of Inner Mongolia University (Humanities and Social Sciences) 内蒙古大学学报(人文社会科学版), May, 2004, Vol. 36, No.3, 60-65.

Entry by 07/08/07