Noted as “Buddhist Center in Southeast”, Hangzhou is packed with various kinds of Buddhist temples. Here recommends three holy sites alluring to Buddhists.
Lingyin Temple (灵隐寺)
Lingyin Temple or the Temple of the Soul’s Retreat is one of the ten most famous Buddhist temples of China and the oldest Buddhist monastery in Hangzhou. It was founded in 328 AD during the Eastern Jin Dynasty (316-420) by an Indian monk name Hui Li and has a history spanning over 1,700 years.
Located in a valley at the foot of Northern Peak (北高峰) and sheltered by forested hills and covered by lingering clouds, the temple, a haven of peace and tranquility, is also one of China’s largest and most visited Buddhist temples and holds the largest statue of the Buddha Sakyamuni sitting on a lotus throne.
After some renovation throughout the years Lingyin Temple now houses five halls but still retains some of its past magnificence through giant statues of heavenly kings, a hall of five hundred Arhats, intricately painted ceilings and woods boasting many ancient trees.
the Largest Sitting Statue of Buddha in China
Add: No.1, Fayun Alley, Lingyin Road, Hangzhou (杭州市灵隐路法云弄1号)
Ticket: RMB45 +RMB 30 (RMB45 for entering the Scenic Area of Lingyin and RMB30 for Lingyin Temple)
Jingci Temple (净慈寺)
Jingci Temple is located at Huiri Peak (慧日峰) on Nanping Hill (南屏山) and is adjacent to Leifeng Pagoda. It is noted for its “Evening Bell Ringing at Nanping Hill” — one of the “Top Ten Views of West Lake”. As early as the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279) Jingci Temple was regarded as one of the four famous Buddhist temples at West Lake and compared with the renowned Lingyin Temple, it is more serene, with fewer tourists but plenty of pious pilgrims.
The temple’s most recognised feature, the bronze bell, weighs over 100 kilogram in weight and is engraved with 68,000 Chinese characters all describing the Lotus Sutra (法华经), one of Buddhism’s most important and influential sacred scriptures.
Evening Bell Ringing at Nanping Hill
Add: No.56, Nanshan Road, Hangzhou (杭州市南山路56号)
Xiangji Temple (香积寺)
Compared to the previous two temples, Xiangli Temple is located near water resting peacefully by the famous Grand Canal. With such an advantageous location, it was destined to be the most prosperous temple in its district and has since been dubbed the ‘most popular temple along the grand canal’.
Originally built in 978, under the name of Xingfu Temple (兴福寺), Xiangji Temple held a prominent place in Hangzhou’s Buddhist Culture. Today it attracts visitors not only for its Buddhism but as an icon of the Grand Canal night scene. Colourful neon lights enhance the outline of the canal’s temples and pagodas, enlightening all who pass them by.
Night Scene of Xiangji Temple
Add: No.1 Dadou Road, Hangzhou (杭州市大兜路1号)