Situated at Ma'anshan (Saddle Hill) 35 km from downtown Beijing, Jietai (Ordination Terrace) Temple was built in 622 in the Tang Dynasty. In the 11th century, a monk named Fajun founded an altar here for the ordination of novices into the monkhood. For a while, it was very famous, and monks from other parts of the country came here for the ordination.
The said altar is a three-level structure built of marble. On the top level sits a statue of Sakyamuni on a lotus flower base. On its four sides are exquisitely carved figures of a hundred or more deities. The ordination altar is the largest one extant in China.
The temple is also known for its ancient and distinctively shaped pines, including one called "sensitive pine." It shakes if one of its branches is touched.