Hangzhou Lingyin Monastery, China

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Lingyin Monastery

The Lingyin Monastery (Monastery of Soul's Retreat) at the foot of Lingyin Mountain, Hangzhou, is one of the 4 famous Monasteries at West Lake and one of 10 well known Buddhist temples in China.

Facing the Flying Mountain and standing beside the springs, the Lingyin Monastery was set up by Indian monk, Huili in 326 AD, Eastern Jing Dynasty (317-420), persistently the most famous and oldest temple in China.

During Empress Wu Zetian (684-705AD), the Lingyin Monastery owned its fame. There are many poems related to Lingyin Monastery by famous poets in Tang and Song Dynasty. Here is a poem by Su Dongpo, a most famous poet and writer in Song dynasty.

"Scenic spots are here and there, my best love is the Flying Mountain ".

The Hall of Heaven, the Hall of Mahavira (great hero), the Liandeng Pavilion, and the Misery Pavilion are the main buildings in Lingyin Monastery. The Hall of Heaven is the first hall you will view. Two well decorated stone pagodas stand on both sides of the gate of Hall of Heaven, set up in Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127).

The statue of Maitreya faces the main gate, behind which is the statue of Weituo built in Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279AD). 4 Buddha's warriors stand on both sides of the statue of Weituo.

The most magnificent hall, Hall of Mahavira (great hero) is 33,6 m high, which ranks the second, only lower than Temple of Heaven in Beijing. On both sides of the hall stand two 9 stone pagodas with 9 floors, on which are carved Buddhist stories.

The golden statue of Sakyamuni stands the central part of the Hall of Mahavira, surrounded by the statues of 20 Buddhist gods, 12 students of Sakyamuni, and 150 various Buddha.

The Lingyin Monastery owns fantastic scenery, where forests and mountains are here and there. If you are interested in history of Buddhism in China, the arts of Buddhist Temples or the carving, it is a good choice touring the Lingyin Monastery!