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Kaiyuan Temple

Kaiyuan Temple

Kaiyuan Temple (Kāiyuánsì 开元寺), situated in West Street of Quanzhou (Quánzhōu 泉州), Fujian Province, is the largest temple in Fujian Province. It was equally as famous as Baima Temple in Luoyang City, Lingyin Temple in Hangzhou City, and has strong influence upon Taiwan and overseas Buddhists. In 1983, it was designated as one of national key temples in the areas of the Han nationality.

Kaiyuan Temple was built in 685, and renamed several times afterwards. In the 26th year of the Kaiyuan reign of the Tang Dynasty (Tángdòi 唐代), Emperor Xuanzong (Xúanzōng 玄宗) ordered each state in this country to build a temple named Kaiyuan. Through several destructions and reconstructions during the Tang, Southern Song (1127-1279), Yuan, and Ming dynasties, the existing buildings are relics of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

Kaiyuan Temple OverviewHighlight Of Kaiyuan Temple
Located in West Street of Quanzhou , with a history of more than 1,300 years. It was originally named Lotus Temple, and the present name was adopted in the 26th year of the Kaiyuan Reign  of the Tang Dynasty. It is the oldest Buddhist Temple in Fuzhou which has a history of 1500 years. It is Fujian province and Fuzhou city two level key cultural relic protection organ.  The Kaiyuan Temple has three claims to fame. Firstly, the Japanese revere Kaiyuan because Kukai, the founder of Japanese Buddhism, stayed here awhile before heading north in search of either enlightenment or longer lasting candles. Secondly, Kaiyuan has the largest cast iron Buddha in China. And thirdly, the place is famous for its Fujian Buddhist Association Clinic, where Buddhist masters have long cured folks of everything from cancer to colic. o¬ne pilgrim complained to me that the young monks aren’t so good at it, and are more concerned with mobile phones than mantras. Kaiyuan Temple enjoys the equal reputation with Guangji Temple in Beijing, Lingyin Temple in Hangzhou and South Putuo Temple in Xiamen. Now Kaiyuan Temple is with an area of 50 MU and is the largest one among the temples of the same names.

Main Attractions Of Kaiyuan TempleBeautiful View Of Temple
Kaiyuan Temple is a relatively integrated square-yard Buddhism buildings group, and covers an area of 78,000 square meters. On its medial axis stand in proper order Buddha's Warrior Attendants Hall, Heavenly King Hall, Main Hall, and Sutra Hall. The Main Hall is the principal building, located at the center of this temple. The Statue of Vairochana Buddha, the highest God of Buddhism's Secret Sect is enshrined in the temple. A large number of cultural relics are preserved here and there are more than 3,700 volumes of Buddhist scriptures of various editions stored in the Sutra Hall, in which the relatively rare scriptures include Great Treasury Scriptures and Lotus Scripture. Manuscripts of Hongyi (Hóngyī 弘一), a modern accomplished monk, are also treasured up herein.

Twin Pagodas Of Kaiyuan Temple (Dōngxīèrtǎ 东西二塔)Twin Tower
Twin pagodas near Kaiyuan Temple are also famous. The east one is Zhenguo Pagoda (Zhènguótǎ 镇国塔) and the west one Renshou Pagoda (Rénshòutǎ 仁寿塔). They are forty meters in height, as the highest twin pagodas in China. They are the unique symbol of the ancient city of Quanzhou. Moreover, the east pagoda was selected as one of the four stamp patterns of China's Ancient Towers in 1994. Since its establishment, Kaiyuan Temple has had endless stream of pilgrims, and become a divine religious place where Buddhists can cultivate themselves according to Buddhist doctrines with great concentration. After the Ming Dynasty, a lot of inhabitants of Chaozhou-Shantou area of eastern Guangdong emigrated overseas. Therefore, Kaiyuan Temple has become a famous scenic spot as well as a symbol of missing the hometown. This pair of towers is the highest stone towers in China. Due to their uniqueness, they are regarded as a special landmark of Quanzhou City. On every floor of each tower, lifelike carvings of knights can be seen around the niches, on the walls, and on the eaves.

Daxiong Palace Of Kaiyuan TempleDaxiong Palace Of Kaiyuan Temple
Lying behind Tianwang Hall (Tiānwángdiàn 天王殿) is Daxiong Palace (Dàxióngbǎodiàn 大雄宝殿) , the main body of Kaiyuan Temple. It is 66 feet high and covers an area of 1,196 square yards. Inside are 34 figures of the Buddha, 24 statues of angels, and 86 columns. Originally, there were 100 columns in the palace, so Daxiong Palace was also named Baizhu Palace. Viewing these works of art, visitors will be surprised at the superb techniques of sculpture. On the base of the palace 172 images of a Sphinx are carved in bluestone. In the corridor at the back of the palace, two steles in Brahmanism style are carved with fairy tales from India and Ceylon.

Travel Tips
Type: Religious Sites.
Admission Fee:  CNY 10.
Opening Hours: 07:30--17:30.
Address: No. 176, West Street, Quanzhou City, Fujian Province.
Traffic: Bus No.2 or Tourist Bus No. 601.
Tel: 0595-2383285.

Attention Please!
1. If you meet the monks in the temple, you must call them “shifu” or “fashi” politely, if you meet the abbot monk , you can call him “zhanglao” or “fangzhang”.
2. If you meet the monks in the temple, you must gather for your hands and submit slightly.
3. If you converse with the monks, do not mention the marriage matter, eating meat, and slaughter to avoid causing the repugnant feeling of monks.
4. Please do not smoke, throw the garbage at will. Don’t have a photograph in the main hall.

Nearby Spots Recommend
Qingyuan Mountain
Literally translated as the "Pure Water-source Mountain", Qingyuan Mountain (Qīngyúanshān 清源山) is famous for its springs, rocks caves and peaks. Legend has it that the name of the mountain comes from a spring made by a immortal using an iron crutch stamping into the ground. It stands in the north of Quanzhou (Qúanzhōu 泉州) as a natural defence, known for its exotic rocks and springs. People of the Yuan Dynasty (Yúandài 元代) praised Qingyuan Mountain as the "first mountain at a fabled abode of immortals in the sea of Fujian.".


Last Updated on Thursday, 26 July 2012 09:36

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