Mount Wutai is located in the northeast of Xinzhou City, Shanxi Province. And Zhenhai Temple is located in about 5 kilometers away from the central area called Taihuai of Mount Wutai. The temple was founded before 1465, when it was a Zen temple. In the Yuan Dynasty, Tibetan Buddhism was introduced from Tibet to Mount Wutai. In the Qing Dynasty, the Royal Family strongly believed in Tibetan Buddhism. Due to the respect of the royal family, Tibetan Buddhism experienced prosperity in Mount Wutai, and many temples in the mountain had been well repaired.
Zhenhai Temple was famous for its abbot Changkya Khutukhtu's religious status. In the Qing Dynasty, there were 6 temples belonging to Changkya Khutukhtu in Mount Wutai, and Zhenhai Temple was the central temple among them. Now Zhenhai Temple consists of five parts: Qian Yuan, Bei Yuan, Hou Yuan, Nan Yuan and Nanxi Yuan. The scale of all the buildings in the temple are more than 100 Ken wide frontage in total.
In 1711, Tibetan Buddhist monks entered Zhenhai Temple, which changed the temple into a Tibetan Buddhism. From the Ming Dynasty to Kangxi Period, the buildings of the temple were arranged in order from the Mountain Gate.
In the early Qianlong Period, the buildings of Zhenhai Temple was surrounded by forests, and the buildings were depend on the mountain landform. There were several red buildings in the temple, and more than 10 Tibetan Buddhist monks lived there. In addition, there was a building for the Emperor to rest, which called Jing She in the following of the text it was called Yuzuo Fang.
In the later Qianlong Period, according to historical data, it can be confirmed that buildings such as Mountain Gate, Bell Tower, Drum Tower, Front Hall, Main Hall and so on were built in Zhenhai Temple. In 1785, there was still a Jing She in the temple, and the scale of it was 3 Ken. In 1786, the Tibetan Buddhist monk Changkya Khutukhtu died in Mount Wutai. A Tibetan Pagoda was built for Changkya Khutukhtu in the center of the Ling Yuan in Zhenhai Temple. The scale of the Zhenhai Temple was enlarged during the Jiaqing Period. It was composed of three parts, Qian Yuan of the Chinese Style Arrangement, Ta Yuan of the Tibetan style and Zuoluo Yuan of the Emperor. In addition, the roof of the temple's buildings, the doors and windows are all constructed according to the Chinese Style. The only building belonging to the Tibetan Style was the Changkya Khutukhtu Pagoda.
Behind the architectural space of Zhenhai Temple, there are three major factors of Chinese Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, and Emperor Power. Among the three major factors, Tibetan Buddhism and Emperor Power had a greater influence on Zhenhai Temple. It can be seen that the Tibetan Buddhism in the Qing Dynasty entered the Zhenhai Temple through Changkya Khutukhtu of the Gelug school, and the establishment of Ta Yuan in the Zhenhai Temple in the Qianlong period was directly related to it. Also, the construction of the Ta Yuan was strongly influenced by the power of the Emperor.