Lingyin Temple sacred place of Zen Buddhism

Lingyin Temple Hangzhou Zhejiang
The Lingyin Temple, Buddhist place of Zen worship in China, is one of the largest and most prosperous temples in China. It's located in a charming, natural setting, The Peak Flying from Afar. Facing the Lingyin Temple as a dedication to it, this peak is a forest of magnificent Buddhist sculptures.

Zen Buddhist Temple

Lingyin Temple is one of the few Buddhist temples of Zen worship remained today. Since its establishment in 328AD, it boasted 72 halls, 18 pavilions and etc, reaching its peak in Wuyue Kingdom. Therefore, this site is considered importantly. During the Tang Dynasty, it was even the largest temple of the lower Yangtze River! Although suffering from damage, it remains one of the most important temples in China.

Turbulent Past of Lingyin Temple

At the time of the 5 Kingdoms (specific time period in Chinese history), the Temple reached its peak. At that time, it was a huge temple that inhabited by more than 3,000 monks. Although such a temple of this size is historically noteworthy, this "temple of soul´s retreat" (literal meaning of Lingyin in Chinese) with a long history of 1,600 years, it has also witnessed many important events. It has suffered damage from natural disasters and wars. Despite its sacred character and the presence of monks, it was first victim of many robberies. It was subsequently damaged during the Taiping Rebellion in 1876. Only two halls were spared and most of the relics of the temple were carried away. These relics are now a part of many private collections. The temple was protected during the Cultural Revolution and its Red Guards by the intervention of Zhou Enlai. Through many renovations, it became what it is today.

Sakyamuni

This would be a peaceful tour. Surrounded on three sides by hills, it showcases the beauty of its natural setting and architectural feats. The main hall is worth visiting. It houses a statue of the founder of Buddhism, Sakyamuni. The statue consists of 24 blocks of camphor and reaches a height of more than 20 meters. The statue is Sakyamuni sitting on a lotus flower.

Peak Flying from Afar

Peak Flying from Afar, also translated as Feilai Feng, is a forest of magnificent Buddhist sculptures facing Lingyin Temple. It is quite different from other surrounding mountains. According to a legend, an Indian monk visited Hangzhou wondering if there was a resemblance between this peak and the Sage Hill Vulture in India. He thought that, if it could fly anywhere, it would have flown to Hangzhou. So he named it "Peak Flying from Afar". He then decided to build the Lingyin temple in front of the peak flying from afar to show the omnipotence of Buddhist law.

Buddhist Sculptures

The Peak Flying from Afar is one of the few sites in this region of China to witness Chinese rock art. This hill has the distinction for limestone rock, which differentiates it from other surrounding peaks. Thus, for more than 1000 years, more than 300 sculptures of Buddha were carved into the caves of Feilai Feng. Most of them date back to the Song and Yuan period, which was at the peak of Lingyin Temple´s popularity. It is very interesting to walk around the caves. It reveals a remarkable sculpture of the Maitreya Buddha´s face smiling to the rest of world. Shexu Cave is also worth visiting. Depending on the position in which it stands, it is possible to see a ray of sunlight through a crack in the rock.

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  • Altitude

    98M Altitude Lingyin Temple
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