The Putuo Zongcheng Temple is part of the "Eight Outer Temples" located in Chengde, which are part of the World Heritage List along with Chengde's . These temples were administered by the "Lifan Yuan", an administrative department for the affairs of ethnic minorities such as the Mongolians and Tibetans, hence the different combinations of architectural style which could be seen throughout these ''Eight Outer Temples'' in Chengde.
The Putuo Zongcheng Temple was originally dedicated to Qianlong in order to commemorate his birthday, as well as provide Hebei with a temple of equal size and splendor as the Tibetan Potala Palace. The Putuo Zongcheng temple served more functions than just Buddhist ceremony and festival, however. It was also the location that the emperor would gather meetings of different ethnic envoys found throughout the empire. The location served as a peaceful getaway in contrast to the bustling life of the capital Beijing, as well as complimented the nearby hunting grounds that the emperor would enjoy with his hosts.
As of 1994, the Chengde Mountain Resort and Chengde's Eight Outer Temples were established as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Today, the temple remains a site of tourism and local festivities.