china edition


Wuhan - Guiyuan Temple

Hubei - Jingzhou - Shiyan - Wuhan - Yichang

Guiyuan Temple, the Temple of Original Tranquility, is a busy Buddhist monastery that was first built in 1658 in the early Qing dynasty. It was destroyed and rebuilt several times in its history and the present temple dates from the early Republic of China (1912-1949).

Covering an area of 46,900 square meter with a floor space of 20,000 square meter, the monastery is famous in Buddhist circles for its scripture collection, which includes a complete 7,000 volume set of the rare Longcan Sutra, but visitors are more likely to be impressed by the several hundred individually styled saintly statues in the Arhat Hall, and the statue of Sakyamuni in the main hall, carved from a single block of white jade, a gift from Burma in 1935.

Outside the temple, there is an excellent vegetarian restaurant in the far from tranquil temple grounds, and an incense burner permanently ringed with visitors trying to get coins to stick to the surface.