china edition


Temple of the Sleeping Buddha

The Temple of the Sleeping Buddha, noted for containing a copper statue of Sakyamuni in recumbent posture is situated close to the Xiangshan Park (Fragrant Hill Park) north-west of Beijing city.

Temple of the Sleeping BuddhaThe Temple of the Sleeping Buddha with its official name of Universal Awakening was constructed in the reign of Zhenguan in the Tang Dynasty. Its original name was Doushuaisi and during the Yuan Dynasty renamed Zhaoxiaosi, also called Hongguangsi.

As the Temple lies backed by the Shouan Mountain, it also got the name of Shouan (Longevity and Peace). In the year of Emperor Yongzheng's reign (1734) in the Qing Dynasty, it changed into the name of Universal Awakening, but commonly referred to as the Temple of the Sleeping Buddha.

In its whole layout, the Temple starts from the front entrance gate, stretching north with 4 successive halls flanked by porches, side halls, parlors and abbot's room, which together form 3 connected courtyards. The main buildings from south to north are the Hall of Lokapala, the Hall of Three Budhisattvas, the Sleeping Buddha Hall and the Scriptures Hall.

In the Hall of the Sleeping Buddha, is housed a copper statue of Sakyamuni in nirvana in recumbent position with left arm straightened and the right turned to support the head. Surrounding the Sleeping Buddha in a semicircle are clay-sculptured statues of his 12 disciples with deeply grieved expressions. The group of the statues represents a vivid scene in which Sakyamuni was articulating his wills to his disciples under the bodhi tree. The enormous statue exquisitely casted demonstrates the pure, solemn, yet simple style of Buddhist art.