KAPOORS ON THE ROAD
The exquisite Ming design of the Temple of Heaven has become synonymous with Beijing. The temple is set in a 267-hectare park with a gate at each compass point and was the sight for solemn rites performed to ensure good harvests. If viewed from above, one would see that the bases are square while the temple halls are round, representing the earth and heavens respectively.
The octagonal Imperial Vault of Heaven was constructed in 1530 and it contains the tablets of the emperor's ancestors. However, the most stunning building in the complex is the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests. The wooden pillars support the ceiling without nails or cement. For a 38m high structure built in 1420, this was quite an accomplishment.