Category: Historical Attractions
Address: 25 Fuchengmen inner street, Xicheng District
Open Time: Daily 9:00am - 5:00pm
Entrance fee: Free
Introduction of Beijing Guangji Temple
Guang Ji are chinese characters that meaning "great love as one" with the temple name, Guangji Temple is one of the most famous Buddhist temples in China. It is now the headquarters of the Chinese Buddhism Association, and the center to conduct national Buddhist activities.
Originally built in the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234), additions were made to the temple by successive dynasties. The present temple was completed during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the original structure having undergone three expansions, three fires, and three reconstructions. It now covers an area of 5.766 acres. The major structures in the temple are the main gate, the Heavenly King Hall, Mahavira Hall, Yuantong Hall (or Buddhisattva Hall) and Sutra Hall.
The Main Gate includes three arched doors, joined to each other 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 and the Drum Tower, 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. On the roof of the hall is a Wheel of Dharma, designed to suggest the infinite power of Buddha.
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 of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). This fine vessel is 2 meters high, cast with the eight treasures of Buddhism -"the wheel, spiral shell, umbrella, canopy, flower, vase, fish, and knot". Inside the hall are statues of Buddha and 18 arhats (Buddhist practitioners said to have special powers). Across their backs is a painting by an artist of the Qing Dynasty. The painting, 5 meters high and 10 meters wide, is a great artwork, as the artist has painted it with his fingers rather than a brush pen.
The Yuantong Hall in the third courtyard is the residence of Buddhisattva. The two-storied Sutra Hall of the fourth yard houses the collection of sutras and treasures. It is filled with curiosities that have been given as gifts by friendly Buddhists of other states, and over 100,000 volumes of sutras. Amongst these, the sutras written in blood from the Song (960-1279) and Ming Dynasties are especially precious.
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