The Summer Palace served as a perfect vacation spot for the imperial emperors to escape the numbing summer heat. Depicted in numerous Chinese paintings, the Palace is located along a lovely lake & offers a spectacular image of the surrounding hilltops. In the 18th century, Emperor Qianlong further added to the splendor of the entire area. As per popular belief, he even put together an army of 100 000 workers to widen & deepen the Kunmig Lake. The immobile marble boat at the north side of the lake was built under the supervision of Empress Dowager Cixi. There is a Dragon King Temple nearby where the Empress went to offer prayers during periods of drought.
The palace garden holds a significant structure i.e. the Hall of Benevolence and Longevity. The hall houses a hardwood throne. The hall courtyard is decorated with a variety of bronze animals, chief among which is the Qilin. There are several Buddhist temples gracing the Longevity Hill, among which the Buddhist Temple – the Sea Of Wisdom is a favorite among tourists. For travelers looking for a peaceful spot, the Summer Palace with its gorgeous views makes for a perfect getaway.
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