With history of more than 1,600 years, Lingyin Temple is a Buddhist temple situated in the northwest of Hangzhou. Lingyin in Chinese literally means the soul’s retreat so that the temple also can be named Temple of Soul’s Retreat. Nestled between Feilai Peak and Beigao Peak, Lingying Temple is one of very best known temples south of Yangtze River.
In the Kingdom of Wuyue (907-978), Lingyin Temple reached its highest peak with nine multi-storey buildings, 18 pavilions, 72 halls and inhabited more than 3,000 Buddhist monks. In North Song Dynasty (960 -1127), magnificent Lingyin Temple was considered as the most important temple in south China area. Over 1,600 years, the temple has been both damaged and rebuilt for many times. Through two renovations in 1956 and 1975, Lingyin Temple formed its present scale.
The layout of Lingyin Temple is very similar with other temples in Jiangnan region. The axis of the temple lines up three main halls: Hall of the Heavenly Kings, Great Hall of the Great Sage and Hall of the Medicine Buddha.
Hall of the Heavenly Kings is the main entrance of the temple. The front of buildings hangs a plaque with inscription Yunlin Chan Si (Literally means Chan temple of the Clouds and Forest) by Emperor Kangxi of Qing Dynasty. The main statue enshrined in the hall is that of Maitreya Buddha. At the back of statue of Maitreya Buddha stands the Skanda Buddha which can be dated back to Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279). The statues of the Four Heavenly Kings are lined along the left and right.
Grand Hall of the Great Sage face up the Hall of the Heavenly Kings and the two halls are separated by a large courtyard. At the center of the Grand Hall of the Great Sage is a statue of Shakymuni. With the height of 24.8 meters, the vivid statue of Shakymuni is a rare Buddhist artwork. At the back is a large screen which features the carved images of 150 Buddhist personalities with the statue of Guanyin in the center.
Hall of Medicine Buddha as its name suggests, enshrine the statue of the Medicine Buddha which is also called Bhaisajyaturu.
Linyin Temple is a must-see destination for those tourists who worship Buddhism.
Admission Fee: 30RMB
Open Time: 7:00-18:00
How to get to: Take Bus No. J17, J18,L7, K807, Y1, Y2 to Lingyin Stop.