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Lingyin Temple

lingyin-temple01 The name of Lingyin Temple or Soul's Retreat Temple comes naturally from its quiet surroundings. With deeply forested hills on three sides, the Lingyin temple is really a hideaway. It is the largest and most resplendent temple in Hangzhou.


Built during the Eastern Jin Dynasty some 1,600 years ago, the temple was ruined and rebuilt many times over the centuries. It has recently taken on a completely new look showing the original splendour. In the Hall of the Heavenly King seated in the centre is a statue of Maitreya, the fat-bare-bellied Buddha with a smiling face. The walkway from this hall to the main hall, which contains the famous statue of Sakyamuni, founder of Buddhism, is paved as though carpeted with green flagstones. The magnificent 19-metre high statue is seated on a louts flower amidst great red pillars and murals of a hundred crans. Carved of camphor wood and gilded in gold, one foot of the statue measures 1.8 metres. Behind Sakyamuni is a colourful group-sculpture of 150 Buddhas representing an episode from the Buddhist scriptures. Another remarkable work of art is a sculpture of a Bodhisattva on the back of the back of a whale on waves of the sea. Tourists know Chinese appreciate browsing among the scrolls on which are copied poems and couplets.