Last updated by david at 2014/5/5
Gulingquan Temple, also called Yuantong Temple, Zifu Temple, Xishan Temple, was built by an eminent monk called Huiyuan in East Jin Dynasty (317-420). In the temple, the spring comes from the hole of the cliff and it was said that there was miraculous glow presenting since Wenshu statue was consecrated here. Thus the spring got the name Bodhisattva Spring, also called Spirit Spring, and Xishan Temple also called Ancient Spirit Spring. So far, it has got the history of over 1,600 years. According to Su Shi’s “Bodhisattva Spring Inscription” in Song Dynasty(960-1279), Tao Kan in Jin Dynasty(265-420) held the post of mayor in Wuchang, later moved to Guangzhou to be provincial governor where he got Wenshushili Boddhisattva gold statue in the sea and sent it to Hanxi Temple of Wuchang. When Tao Kan moved to Jiangzhou as the provincial governor, he also wanted to welcome the statue of Buddha to Xunyang (Jinjiang today). But he couldn’t transfer the manpower, and the statue of Buddha told Huiyuan through dream that Xishan Mountain was “refreshing and lucky place” and originally the “Pure Paradise”. Therefore, Huiyuan built Xishan Temple in the former base of King Wu’s Summer Palace where Wenshu Buddha was consecrated and “Initial Approach to Pure Land” was advocated. During the time it had experienced rise and fall several times. The extant temple was constructed with the donation which was tollected through the official article of Huguang governor in Qing Dynasty Tongzhi 3th year (1864). In recent years, it had been repaired. It is the chief building of Xishan Mountain, with the existing area of 4,700 square meters. There are one hall (Wenshushili Hall), one pavilion (Three Spring Pavalion), six big halls(Tianwang Hall, Bai Hall, Daxiongbao Hall, Guanyin Hall, Wusheng Hall). All the halls were built with brick and wood structure, with lotus-arched stand, doubled eaves and flying garret, red rafters and green tiles, appearing grand and dignified.
Xishan Temple has many humanitic landscape. In front of the temple is a Bodhisattva spring, with “ Gu Jin Di Er Quan” (“ No.2 spring in both ancient and modern time” ) five characters written by Zhao Zi’ang in Yuan Dynasty(1271-1368). Bodhisattva Spring is pure, sweet and mellow, which might overflow but not leak. The monks in the temple had used the spring to knead dough to make cakes, which were not only delicious, sweet and crisp, but would melt after put into the mouth. The cake, called “Dongpo Cake”, is one of the famous pastries in Hubei. By the Bodhisattva Spring is the pond for washing the ink of Huang Tingjian, calligrapher of Song Dynasty (960-1279). In the temple there are over ten carving steles, among which one carved stone with plum blossom in Three Spring Pavilion was carved with” the first sad man in the world” by Han Yuling, ministry of military department in Qing Dynasty (1616-1911), whose composition is peculiar and writing style is natural and unrestrained.。The statues of Buddha in the six halls are all with different postures and very lifelike.
The entrance of the ancient temple is called Jicui Gate. A mountain stream, coming down from the valley after the temple, connects Didi spring, Hanxi spring, Live Spring, Bodhisattva Spring, and Ink-washing Spring, and flows swiftly down the cold brook by passing Jicui Gate. During midsummer, you will feel very peaceful and comfortable staying here.
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8:30 – 17:00
Recommended Time for Visiting: two hours
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