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Home Travel in Zhejiang King Asoka Temple
King Asoka Temple
Travel in Zhejiang

 Heavenly King Hall of King Asoka Temple
Situated on Asoka Mountain (ā yù shān 阿育山), King Asoka Temple (ā yù wáng sì 阿育王寺) is 20 kilometers away from the urban area of Ningbo City (níng bō shì 宁波市). It is famous for the pagoda of the Buddhist relics in the whole world as well as in China. Originally built during the Western Jin Dynasty (xī jìn 西晋), the temple is with a history of more than 1700 years. It is the only existing temple which is named after the Indian King Asoka within China.

King Asoka TempleKing Asoka Temple covers an area of 80 thousand square meters, within which there are more than 600 halls and pavilions, taking the area of 14000 square meters. For its large scale and long history, the temple has been one of the holy Buddhist temples in China since the Song Dynasty (sòng cháo 宋朝) and well known for the role it played in the popularity of Buddhism in East Asia.

The Buddha's Relics HallThe King Asoka Temple was constructed relying on the mountain. The main part the temple consists of the Heavenly King Hall (tiān wáng diàn 天王殿), the Grand Hall (dà xióng bǎo diàn 大雄宝殿), the Buddha’s Relics Hall (shě lì diàn 舍利殿), and the Hall of Buddhist Sutra (cáng jīng lóu 藏经楼). All the architectures there are designed in old and original manner, combining the art of gardening, painting, and engraving together.

Stone Pagoda for the Buddha's RelicsThere are seven rooms in the Heavenly King Hall, which is 30.36 meters wide and 18.20 meters deep. The three halls are all with double eaves and gabbled roofs. The Buddha’s Relic Hall is the most outstanding one among all the buildings. With golden glazed tiles covered on the roof, the hall is resplendent and magnificent. The Buddha’s relic is placed in the seven-storey stone pagoda in the hall, which makes the hall mysterious. The stone sculptures of Four Heavenly Guardians (sì dà jīn gāng 四大金刚) in the back of the temple and the brick carving of the “Sixteen Princes”(shí liù wáng zǐ 十六王子), which are vivid, attracts many people from home and abroad.

There are many scenic spots and historical sites near King Asoka Temple. A stone pavilion named Fodao (Buddha has come) Pavilion (fó dào tíng 佛到亭) on a big stone on which it is said that Kasyapa Buddha (jiā yè fó 迦叶佛) stepped with his left foot. Under the pavilion, there stands a big stone named Sunyan Stone (sǔn yán 损岩), on which more than ten people can sit together. Another scenic spot is the legendary Seven Buddha Pool (qī fó tán 七佛潭), where seven Buddhists were said to have once bathed. Water in the pool is very deep, and the ambience here is quiet and secluded. It is really a good cool place for people to spend the summer.

King Asoka Temple
Location: Wuxiang Town (wǔ xiāng zhèn 五乡镇) of Yinzhou District (yín zhōu qū 鄞州区), Ningbo City
Admission fee: RMB 5
Opening hours: 6:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Transportation: you can take bus No. 554, 362, 557, 558, and 559 to get at Yuwang Stop (yù wáng zhàn 育王站), or take minibuses from Ningbo East Bus Station to Chaiqiao (chái qiáo 柴桥) and Baifeng Dock (bái fēng mǎ tóu 白峰码头)

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Last Updated on Friday, 30 October 2009 09:30