Guang Ji Temple(Si)

Last updated by Beijingexpat at 2014/5/4

Guangji Temple, Located on Inner Fuchengmen Street, Xicheng District, means the "temple of great charity" and it is one of the most famous Buddhist temples in China. In 1983, it was designated as one of national key temples in the areas where the Han nationality lives. Now, it is the site of the Chinese Buddhist Association.

Guangji Temple was built at  the site of Xiliulin Temple of the Jin Dynasty. Rebuildings were concducted at the Xiliulin temple site during the Tianshun Period of the Ming Dynasty after it were completly destroyed during the social turmail of the Jin and Yuan Dynasties. Hereafter, the temple got its present name of Guangji Temple.

During the reign of Emperor Shunzhi (the second emperor in the Qing Dynasty) more buildings were added , and the temple became more and more popular and thriving. Again destroyed by a fire in 1934, Guangji Temple was brought to be the current layout after two renovations in the year 1972 and 1976 respectively.

Guangji Temple, covering an area of 58 acre, has a compact overall arrangement and the buildings are arranged along the medial axis symmetrically. Main buildings there include Mountain Gate Hall, Hall of the Heavenly Kings, Mahavira Hall (Daxiongbaodian), Yuantong Hall and Sutra Hall.

The main gate of the temple consists of three arched doors, joined to each other by connecting walls. At the front of it just lies the Heavenly King Hall which houses a sitting bronze statue of Maitreya Buddha, guarded on each side by four heavenly kings. The Wheel of Dharma carved on the ceiling indicates Buddha's ultimate and supreme power.

The Mahavira Hall, located in the second courtyard features a two-meter high bronze Ding (a kind of bronze vessel usually found in front of a hall in Buddhist temples) made in 1793 ( the year 58 in the reign of emperor Qianlong in Qing Dynasty). It casts with the eight treasures of Buddhism "the wheel, spiral shell, umbrella, canopy, flower, vase, fish, and knot". Inside the hall stand statues of Buddha and 18 arhats (Buddhist practitioners said to have special powers). A large finger-painting, 5 meters high and 10 meters wide, is hung behind, which can date back to Qin Dynasty.

The Yuantong Hall located in the third courtyard was used as the residence of the Bodhisattvas. The sutras and other treasures are kept in the fourth hall, the aptly named Sutra Hall, located in the fourth courtyard. It houses over 100,000 volumes of scriptures in 20 different languages, some of which date back to the Song dynasty. There is even an entire sutra from the Song era written in blood, which was given to the temple as a gift.

Solo Adventure Tips:

Location:

It is located on Inner Fuchengmen Street, Xicheng District

How to Get There?

Take Bus No.13, 101, 823, 812, 814 and get off at Xisi Bus Station.

Ticket Price:

5 yuan

Opening Hours:

8:30am to 17:30pm

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