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Lingyin Temple


Lingyin Temple, built in 326 AD, is located in a long, narrow valley between Fei Lai Feng and North Peak to the northwest of the West Lake. it is one of the famous Buddhist temples in China. A legend said that a a senior Indian monk named Huili built the temple and named Lingyin (Soul's Retreat) Temple because the setting has a quiet and beautiful grandeur that encourages a feeling of peace and for contemplation.
Lingyin Temple is laid out along traditional lines. It is made up of the Hall of the Heavenly King, the Hall of the Great Hero, the Hall of the Buddha of Medicine, the East and West Winding Corridors, the west wing, the Liandeng Tower, the Dabei Tower, the Abbot's Room and the dining halls.

entering the Heavenly King Hall, with its double eaves and some sixty feet in height, images of the Four Heavenly Kings stand upon either side of the Maitreya. The ceiling is ornately painted with phoenixes and dragons. The principle Buddha here is Maitreya or Milefo, the Laughing Buddha.

the Hall of the Great Hero is seven rooms wide, five rooms deep and single storey construction. This 33.6-meter-high Hall, distinguished by double eaves, is the highest single storey buildings to be found in China. A statue of Sakyamuni, carved out of 24 pieces of camphor wood, stands 19.6 meters high in the hall. This is one of the largest wooden statues in China and is covered with gold leaf. there is a carved gilt figure standing behind as a guard. In front of the hall are two stone pagodas built during the Five Dynasties (907-960).

Lingyin Temple has been destroyed 16 times. It experienced its zenith during the Five Dynasties Period. The most recent one is after the Cultural Revolution. The current buildings are modern restorations of late Qing buildings. In 1961, the temple was listed for protection as a key provincial historical and cultural site. It is considered a leading centre for research relative to Chinese Buddhist culture.

 




 
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