Journal of Architecture and Planning (Transactions of AIJ)
Online ISSN : 1881-8161
Print ISSN : 1340-4210
ISSN-L : 1340-4210
Author information

2021 Volume 86 Issue 790 Pages 2755-2766


 Since BC, cities have been constructed on the Mongolian Plateau with the establishment of dynasties, but most turned to ruins. However, the Tibetan Buddhist temples built after the 16th century, which are an indispensable element in the process of Mongolians settling down from nomadic life, have been relatively well preserved in Inner Mongolia. These temples are considered the epitome of the Mongolian economy, culture, art, and construction technology of the time. Therefore, there is great value and significance in researching them systematically. Interestingly, these temples originated from Inner Mongolia, the southern part of Mongolia. The architectural design of these temples has been largely influenced by Chinese and Tibetan temple architecture and is therefore considered an important sample for studying temple architecture in both Mongolia and East Asia. Yet, there is still no systematic study on this subject. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to study the arrangement plan, which is the most important aspect in the design and first stage of temple construction of Inner Mongolian Tibetan Buddhist temples.

 In this study, 30 well-preserved temples, that were constructed between the end of the Northern Yuan Dynasty and the Qing Dynasty were selected as the object of this research. Firstly, the temples were divided into different levels according to the historical background of the temples. Further, the temple buildings were also classified based on their functions. Lastly, the arrangement plan has been modeled, which was also classified into a series of different types to further clarify the characteristics of the arrangement of the Inner Mongolian Buddhist temples.

 Results-wise, this study suggests that these temples could be divided into three levels: Province Level, League Level, and Banner Level. Furthermore, there were 56 kinds of temple buildings among these 30 temples, which were divided into 3 types according to their functions. In accordance with the main buildings among the 56 classifications, the arrangement form of the temple has shown to be divided into Integrated Type and Separated Type. Importantly, Integrated Type could be divided into more detailed types like Symmetric Type and Asymmetric Type. The characteristic arrangement plans of these temples in different regions have been clearly found through a comparative analysis of each level’s temple arrangement of various types. Surprisingly, the reason behind the characteristics has been initially discovered during this study.

 In conclusion, this study presents a classification of arrangement characteristics of Buddhist temples of Inner Mongolia, based on arrangement plans in a variety of temples in Inner Mongolia. Finally, this research also provides a foundation for further studies on Mongolian temple architecture.

Content from these authors
© 2021, Architectural Institute of Japan
Previous article Next article