The Lama Temple began its life in the 17th century as a residence for high-ranking eunuchs. In the 18th century it was converted into a monastery for the Lama sect of Buddhism and became home to monks from Tibet and Mongolia. The soaring yellow-tiled roofs dominating the Third Ring Road mark its imperial status and shops selling incense and other offerings line the street. At the far end of the of the temple is one of its greatest attractions: a 18-meter-high Buddha made from a single piece of sandalwood in that was a gift from the Dalai Lama to Emperor Qianlong in 1750. The best time to visit is during the Spring Festival when locals go to pray for good fortune during the coming year and courtyards are thick with smoke from burnt offerings and the constant clanging of the bells.