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Daxingshan Temple

Daxingshan Temple in Xi'an (Chinese: 西安大兴善寺)

Brief Introduction
Daxingshan Temple is one of the oldest buddhist temples in China and a birthplace of Chinese Tantric Buddhism. It was founded during the Western Jin Dynasty(265-316). Daxingshan Temple is a pure and peaceful Buddhist space in the prosperous metropolis. During the Sui and Tang Dynasties (581-907), Buddhism prevailed widely in Chang’an (today’s Xian). Many Indian monks translated Buddhist sutras and promulgated Buddhist doctrines here. At that time, the Daxingshan Temple became one of three sutras translation sites, together with Da Ci'en Temple and Jianfu Temple.The Daxingshan Temple was an important temple during the western Jin Dynasty.The interiors of the Daxingshan Temple today have many Qing Dynasty features. There is a Mountain Gate, a Devaraja Hall flanked by the figures of the four heavenly kings, the Mahavira Hall, the Bell and Drum Towers and the Kwan Yin Palace. A wooden statue of Maitreya Buddha stands in the center of the Devaraja Hall. The Kwan Yin Palace has a sandalwood statue of Kwan Yin with a thousand hands. The temple is an active one and worshippers throng the building during Buddhist festivals. The area around the temple has been converted into a small tranquil park.At present,the Temple with surrounding areas became a park temple and open to travelers.

History of Daxingshan Temple
The Daxingshan Temple was built during the reign of the Western Jin Dynasty.When the Tang Empire built its capital, the Daxingshan Temple was enclosed within the city walls of Chang'an. It is said that the temple was destroyed in the 840s during the Tang era. It was rebuilt during the Qing Dynasty era in 1725. It was rebuilt or restored again in 1956 and 1983. The architecture now is Qing-era style. Since the tenth century, Daxingshan Temple has been damaged and reconstructed many times.The history of this temple can be dated back to the third century,at first ,it was named Zunshen Temple. In the second year of the Emperor Yang Jian it was rebulit and in order to enlarge the temple and changed its name to Daxingshan Temple.And was the greatest estabilshment of the Sui anf Tang Dynasties.It has turned a small,and quiet park after rebuilt in 1956.It was used by a Community of Tibetan Buddhist monks and their worship until the Cultural Revolution. And at present,it's Xian Buddhist Association here.


What to see in Daxingshan Temple

Hall of Heavenly Kings
When you go inside the hall,you can find there are four statues of Heavenly King,also called the Guardians of the Four Quarters,two on each side, stand on the east and west sides. There is a statue of Maitreya Buddha inside the hall, smiling face and big punch, it's his typical image and hehind it is a wood-carved Wei Tuo, which made in Ming Dynasty.

Site of the Zhuanlun Sutras Depository Hall
It was first built in the Tang Dynasty and it situated between the Main Hall and the Goddess of Mercy Hall. it was a place for collecting and keeping Buddhist scriptures. "Zhuanlun" means rolling wheel which symbolizes that the dharma never stops to turn around. Later, the hall was destroyed by the war. The site remains a 15-meter-wide and 1-meter-high square earthen platform.

Goddess of Mercy Hall
The grand and imposing Guanyin Hall enshrines Guanyin, or "Born of the Lotus", a deity known across all Asia as ‘the Goddess of Mercy’. In Chinese Buddhism, she is regarded as a personification of compassion, goodness and wisdom, and therefore is worshiped by Chinese people. The golden Guanyin is portrayed as thousand armed bodhisattva with a thousand eyes, which may greatly surprise you. The hall with carved beams and painted rafters is magnificent. In its front, a delicately-carved guardrail made of bluestones is also worthy of your appreciation.

Sutras Collection Tower
It's the place that the Masters give the lectures on Buddhist classics. Here has a plaque over its gate with four Chinese characters: "Jue Wu Zhong Sheng" (it means to enlighten all living beings) written by Emperor Gunagxu in the Qing Dynasty. Inside, Vairocana is standing there. The tower, with surrounding halls with constitutes a courtyard where visitors are welcomed by towering and thick cypresses, and a more than 300-year-old Chinese wisteria that was planted near the end of the Ming Dynasty.


How to get there

Bus Routes
1.No. 701 and get off at Daxingshansi Dongjie Station. Then walk towards west around 650 m (710 yd).
2.No. 12, 14, 14 (branch), 26, 36, 215, 215 (branch), 239, 323, 521, 600, 603, 605, 616, 701, 704.
3.Jiaoyu Zhuanxian (Education Special Line) or Tourist Line 8 (No. 610) and get off at Chang'an Lijiao Station. Then walk south around 400 m (440 yd) along Middle Chang'an Road and then turn west and walk around 300 m (330 yards).

Metro Routes
Take metro Line 2 or Line 3 and get off at Xiaozhai Station. Get out from Exit A. Walk towards north along Middle Chang’an Road for around 5 minutes, and then turn west and walk for around 5 minutes.

Travel Guide
Admission Fee: Free
Opening Hours: 08:00-17:00
Time for Visit: 2-3 Hours

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