The 6 Most Famous and Enchanting Temples in China
Call it the Middle Kingdom- as China is famously known. In China temples abound everywhere- from Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoist to Maoist- most of these temples have stood the test of time even after the devastating effect of the Cultural Revolution. Religion in mainland China is an intricate part of everyday life. It has a profound impact on artistic lifestyle including calligraphy, music, painting and all art forms one can possibly imagine.
Religion and temples have a long history in China to the extent that the history of China cannot be complete without the history of temples and architecture on the mainland. Listed below are some are the most famous and enchanting temples on the mainland.
The White Horse Temple
Towering over all the temples in China for its rich history is the White Horse temple located east of Luoyang between the Luo River and the Mang Hill. The temple, according to records was built during the Eastern Han Dynasty. As the story goes, the emperor at that time sent monks to India to obtain Buddhist scriptures and on the successful journey back to China the monks rode white horses signifying their triumph over the treacherous journey, hence the name white horse.
The temples is famously revered as the cradle of Buddhism in China with an astonishing 1,900 years of history and still well preserved to this day.
Located in Kaifeng, henan province. The temple was first built in Northern Qi Dynasty during the period 555AD as a Buddhist temple. With a rich history of over 1,400 years the temple has been enlarged many times and was once the largest in China.
Its membership was dominated by the Royal family and had monks numbering over a thousand.
This temple is the heartbeat of Tibet, located in Lhasa, the Jokhang temple was built in 647 by Songtem Gampo and holds a history of more than 1,300 years. It is a combination of Han, Tibet and Nepalese architecture, wowing visitors from all over the world.
The temple house many invaluable relics and according to history was ransacked by the then ferocious Mongols. For centuries it was the epicenter for Buddhist pilgrimages in China.
Chinese Kung-fu is famous around the world for a reason, the Shaolin Temple. Built in 495 AD, the temple is credited with popularizing martial art and the Zen Buddhism that spread throughout East Asia.
It is undisputedly one of China’s most famous ancient temples. During the Yuan and Ming dynasties the temple held more than 1000 monks from all walks of life.
A list of some of the most famous and enchanting temples in China will not be complete without the inclusion of Confucian temple located in Shandong Province in the center of Qufu city.
Built in 478 BC after the death of Chinese philosopher Confucius, the temple is considered as one of the ancient building complexes in China covering an area of 50 acres.
The Labrang Lamasery Temple
Nestled in the mountains in the Tibet autonomous region is the Labrang Lamasery temple in Xiahe County. The temple was initially built under the supervision of Jiamuyang, the forefathers of Living Buddha in 1709, the late forty’s in the reign of Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty. It occupies 82 hectares land with a floor space of more than 82,000 square meters.
The temple consists of 6 scripture-chanting halls, more than 80 Buddha halls, 31 Tibetan style architectural buildings, 30 palace-yards for Buddhas and an astonishing 500 meditation rooms as well as more than 10,000 abodes for lamas.
Beside of this giant collection of buildings, the Labrang Monastery have a treasure house which contains masterpiece art treasures, such as fabulous frescoes and tapestries, eye catching carpets which cover the whole area, painted Tibetan style furniture.
The most heartthrob ones are the different kinds of Buddha statues and "thangkas".Labrang Monastey has a collection more than 10,000 "thangka" paintings.