Group of School Girls & Leaders, Forbidden City, Beijing

These two young girls were quite excited, pulled my shirts asking me to take their picture. Next thing I know, more of them joined even their teachers for this joyful snapshot.

Group of School girls & Leaders- Forbidden City, Beijing_Group of School girls & Leaders- Forbidden City, Beijing_-4Group of School girls & Leaders- Forbidden City, Beijing_-3Group of School girls & Leaders- Forbidden City, Beijing_-2

Giant Incense Burner MG_2326

Bronze Lion in front of Imperial Palace and other government buildings are common representation of strength as they were believed to have powerful protective benefits. The male in this photo with his paw upon a ball depicts supremacy over the world and the female, not photographed here, but at a different venue, restraining a cub on his back represents nurture.

Chinese Garden Lion- Forbidden City, Beijing MG_2310

This large Copper Bowl was used to fill up with water for conservation and other usage.

Copper Bowl- Forbidden City, Beijing MG_2342

Giant Incense Burner

Giant Incense Burner Forbidden City, Beijing MG_2326

Sundial used in Pre-modern China to tell the time by measuring the shadow cast by the sun.

Sundial- Forbidden City, Beijing MG_2332

Building Structure inside Forbidden City, Beijing MG_2304

Forbidden City is perhaps the first place a tourist visiting China will venture – my opinion-. Second place being the Wall. Till we get to the Wall, I was very impressed by the magnitude of this whole area and the number of visitors. These wooden structures with few exceptions have exact likeness with similar color, glazed yellow tiles, columns etc… Not allowed to go inside, one can only pick from the door threshold ramp provided the crowd would allow you time, without being pushed around, to get the correct settings for a decent photograph. What one needs to know is that these complexes were built during the Ming Dynasty in the 1406 plus era and were home of the Imperial Family. I was surprised of the desolate aspect of the courtyard, totally bare, no garden, trees or flowers in view. I guess the crowd made up for the lack therein.

Structures inside Forbidden City, Beijing MG_2304

Courtyard

Courtyard Forbidden City, Beijing

Ceiling

Structures inside Forbidden City, Beijing MG_2304

Ceiling Decor

Structure Ornament Forbidden City, Beijing MG_2328

Other Buildings beyond Mao’s Mausoleum

All the buildings embrace the red and yellow colors  The yellow roofs are of glazed tiles all over.

There is a significance in the color Yellow in traditional Chinese culture. The earliest ancestor of the Chinese race was the “Yellow Emperor.” Chinese culture originated on the “Yellow Plateau,” the cradle of the Chinese nation was the “Yellow River,” and descendants of the Yan Emperor and the Yellow Emperor have “yellow skin.” Since ancient times, the color yellow has been inseparably linked with Chinese traditional culture. However, the red color of the packet symbolizes good luck. Red is strictly forbidden at funerals as it is a traditionally symbolic color of happiness; however, as the names of the dead were previously written in red, it may be considered offensive to use red ink for Chinese names in contexts other than official seals.

The interior of the Mao’s Memorial Hall features a circular shape and red carpet inside, reminiscent of Mao’s symbol of the red sun during the Cultural Revolution.

 

Mausoleum of Mao Zedong, other Buildings BeijingMausoleum of Mao Zedong, other Buildings Beijing-3Mausoleum of Mao Zedong, other Buildings Beijing-2

Mausoleum of Mao Zedong, Tiananmen Square, Beijing

The Chairman Mao Memorial Hall commonly known as the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong, is the final resting place of Mao Zedong, Chairman of the Politburo of the Communist Party of China from 1943 and the Chairman of the Communist Party of China from 1945 until his death in 1976.

Although Mao had wished to be cremated, his body was embalmed and construction of a mausoleum began shortly after his death. This highly popular attraction is located in the middle of Tiananmen Square in Beijing, the capital of China. It stands on the previous site of the Gate of China, the southern (main) gate of the Imperial City during the Ming and Qing dynasties.

The remains of the Great Helmsman, as he is sometimes known, are on display for public viewing (though some claim this is a wax sculpture placed over the actual body). People line up for hundreds of meters every day to see the former chairman, many paying tribute to him with flowers that can be purchased at the entrance on the north side.

Mausoleum of Mao Zedong, Tiananmen Square, BeijingMausoleum of Mao Zedong, Tiananmen Square, Beijing-3Mausoleum of Mao Zedong, Tiananmen Square, Beijing-2