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Guangji Temple
Travel in Beijing

Guangji Temple

Located on Inner Fuchengmen Street (fù chéng mén nèi 阜成门内), Guangji Temple (guǎng jì sì 广济寺) is one of the most famous Buddhist temples in China. Guangji Temple means the temple of great charity and it is one of the major Buddhist temples in Beijing. Since 1953, the temple has been the headquarters of the Chinese Buddhist Association and a center for Buddhist learning. This temple is surrounded by the tranquility of old cypress trees and lush greenery along the deep winding paths. The Beijing Buddhist Culture Research Centre (zhōng guó jiào xié huì 中国佛教协会) was established here in 2002.

Gate of Guangji TempleOriginally built during 1115-1234, successive dynasties made additions to the construction of the temple. The present temple was completed during the Ming Dynasty (míng dài 明代)(1368-1644), the original structure having undergone three expansions, three fires, and three reconstructions. It now covers an area of 5.766 acres. The temple houses a wall of 18 Buddhist deities, the Ming Dynasty religious relics and a library of over 100,000 volumes of scriptures in 20 different languages, some of which date back to the Song Dynasty (sòng dài 宋代).

Guangji Temple in DistanceLike most Buddhist temples in China, main buildings are placed on the north-south axis: Mountain Gate Hall (nán tiān mén 南天门), Devajara Hall (tiān wáng diàn 天王殿)(Hall of the Heavenly Kings), Yuantong Hall (yuán tōng 圆通殿), Mahavira Hall (dà xióng bǎo diàn 大雄宝殿), Treasure Hall (cáng jìng gé 藏经阁) and other side halls.

Main BuildingThe Main Gate of Guangji Temple has three arched doors that are joined together to one another by connecting walls. Each door is adorned with colored glazed eaves and accompanied by a stele. Passing through the gate, visitors will see the Bell Tower (zhōng lóu 钟楼) and the Drum Tower (gǔ lóu 鼓楼), and will find themselves facing the middle Heavenly King Hall. Inside the Hall, the bronze statue of the Maitreya Buddha is sitting in the dominant place, guarded by the four Heavenly Kings. The roof of the hall has a Wheel of Dharma that shows the infinite power of Buddha.

Guangji Temple In the second courtyard is the Mahavira Hall. In front of the hall is a bronze vessel that was made in 1793, during the reign of Emperor Qianlong (qián lóng dì 乾隆帝) of the Qing Dynasty (qīng dài 清代)(1644-1911). This fine vessel is 2 meters (6.56 feet) high, is known for exquisitely-carved designs of Wheel, Conch Shell, Umbrella, Gan, Flower, Vase, Fish and Knot of Eternity. There are statues of Buddha and 18 arhats inside the hall (Buddhist practitioners said to have special powers). Across their backs, you can see a painting by an artist of the Qing Dynasty. The painting, 5 meters (16.4 feet) high and 10 meters (32.8 feet) wide, is a great artwork. The artist has painted it with his fingers rather than a brush pen.

Guangji Temple in WinterIn the third courtyard is the Yuantong Hall, the residence of Buddhisattva.
The two-storied Sutra Hall of the fourth yard houses the collection of sutras and treasures.There are curiosities that have been given as gifts by friendly Buddhists of other states, and over 100,000 volumes of sutras, which are important materials for research Buddhism’s development in China, as well as an important part in Chinese traditional culture. There is even an entire sutra from the Song (sòng dài 宋代). written in blood, which was given to the temple as a gift.

altOn the back wall, in the northwestern end of the temple is a terrace called Jietan (jiè tán 戒坛) made of white marble, where Buddhist dignitaries give lectures. Along with the Jietan Hall, it is one of the oldest constructions in the temple. 

No. 25, Fuchengmen Main Street (fù chéng mén nèi 阜成门内), Xicheng District (xī chéng qū 西城区).
Transportation: Buses 13, 22, 47, 603, 101 and 103.
Admission Fee: 5 RMB
Tel: 010-66160907
Opening Hours: 8:40 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Recommended Time for a Visit: Two hours
Attractions nearby: The Temple of Successive Emperors (lì dài dì wáng miào 历代帝王庙)