Baotong Buddhist Temple
The Baotong Temple has a history of more than 1500 years. Early in the Liusong period of the Southern Dynasties (A.D.420-499), there has been a temple named "Dongshan Temple". In the Duanping reign of the Southern Song Dynasty (A.D.1234-1236), Kang Xi, the emperor, ordered that the Hongshan Temple of Shuizhou moved here and the name of Dongshan was changed into Hongshan. He granted it the name of "Chongning Wanshou Buddhist Temple". In 1485, the name was changed into "Baotong Buddhist Temple". It has been used until now.
Although the Baotong Temple was destroyed by fire for many times in the past, it was rebuilt again after being destroyed. The Panchen Lama, who is dead now, has ever been here twice. He praised their spirit that all monks in the temple lived ontheir own. For a moment, the Baotong Buddhist Temple became famous at home and abroad. The Baotong Temple was formally open to the public in 1988. It faces south. It's built against the mountain. On the vermeil gate are four big golden words " Bao Tong Chan Si" in Chinese. They were written by Zhao Puchu. Enter the gate and there is a stone bridge. It's said that it ‘s the place where Wunian, a founder of Buddhism, sit cross-legged when he came here. Go across the bridge and walk upwards along the steps. They are the Mile Hall, the Grand hall, the Zhushi Hall, the sites of the ancient Grand Hall and the Remains of the Fajie Hall built in 1922 in turn. On the top is the Hongshan Pagoda.
The Baotong Temple has a long history, so there are a lot of cultural relics. It's really a treasure house in Wuhan. Many famous cultural relics are still stored in the temple, such as, the black bell of the Song Dynasty, the pagoda of the Yuan Dynasty and the stone lions of the Ming dynasty. The Ancient Bell of the Song Dynasty is made of cast iron. It's 7 feet and 8 inches. The diameter of the lower mouth of the bell is 4 feet and 7 inches. It's embossed with lections. It was made with the intendance of Yu Hong who was the manufacture official of Jinghu in the Southern Song Dynasty. The bell is called " Ten Thousand Jin Bell". It's the oldest large iron musical instrument used in the Buddhist mass among the extant Buddhist relics in Hubei Province. The Ancient Lions of the Ming dynasty are composed of two stone lions. One is male and the other is female. They look vivid. The height is 6 feet and 5 inches. The length of the pedestal is 3 feet and 8 inches. Its width is 2 feet and 1 inch. They are the largest stone lions in the south of the lower reaches of the Changjiang River. The Hongshan Pogoda was built in the Yuan Dynasty (A.D. 1280-1291). It has seven storeys. It's towering and grand. There are many steps through which people can climb to the top of the tower.