Lapuleng Temple is the main cultural and architectural attraction in the area. In the past, this temple was the political and religious center of the region, and the leaders there had more than 100 subsidiary temples in the area. Now the complex is said to have the best Tibetan Buddhist school in China. In 1982, the government listed the building as a national key cultural monument. It is known for its grand scale, long history, and the numerous monks.
The building was first built by Buddha JiaMuyang in 1710. Successive JiaMuyang Buddhas kept enlarging the complex, so it is now the biggest Tibetan Buddhist religious center in China outside of Tibet. It is also one of the six major temples of the Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism.
Lapuleng Temple occupies an area of 1,234 mu (15 mu = 1 hectare) and has 823,000 square meters of floor space. There are 6 scripture halls, 84 Buddha halls, 31 Tibetan styled buildings, 30 Buddha palaces, and more than 500 Jinglun rooms. There are about 1000 dormitory rooms for the monks.
The buildings' special features are the exquisite art and decorations and the large collection of about 60,000 books. There are Buddhist scriptures, social science books and natural science books. All kinds of books related to Tibetan history, literature, philosophy, linguistics, rhetoric, medicine, astronomy, calendars, arts and crafts, and metallurgy can be found there. Among these books, are rare editions, unique copies and out-of-print publications. It is really a vast treasury of knowledge.
There are six academies in the Lapuleng Monastary: Exoteric Buddhism Academy, Esoteric Buddhism Academy I and Buddhism Academy II, Xi Jingang Academy, Shilun Jingang Academy and Medical Academy. It is the biggest school for Lamaism in the world. Owing to its strict system in enrollment, teaching, examination and graduation, the school has provided large numbers of religious talents for the Tibetan area.
And there is all kinds of art.There are various pagodas covered with gold foil, jade, ivory and precious wood. Also there are also skillfully-made and vivid figures of the Buddha. The large ones can reach over 10 meters high and weigh tons and the small ones only measure 2 or 3 cm and weigh no more than 2 or 3 liang (28.35 liang = 1 ounce). In addition, on the walls are exquisitely made Thang-ka paintings and colorful wall hangings.