china edition


Xian - Green Dragon Temple

Shaanxi - Xian - Yan'an

Green Dragon Temple is located 3 kilometer southeast of Xian. It is a famous Buddhist Temple from the Tang dynasty. The temple was originally named Lingan Temple (Temple of Inspiration) when it was built in 582 and later in 711 during the Tang dynasty renamed Green Dragon Temple. The temple was destroyed in 1086 and the present one was reconstructed in 1963.

Green Dragon Temple is the ancestor temple of Tantra sect of Japan Buddhism. In the early and middle 9th Century, some Japanese monks were sent to China to study Buddhism. 6 of them studied at Green Dragon Temple, and this led to a flourishing period of the temple. Among them, Kukai was the most learned.

He became the sitting master of the 6th generation of the Tantra sect of Buddhism and made great progress in learning Buddhist sutras, Sanskrit, poems and Chinese calligraphy. When he returned to Japan, he brought back with him Chinese painting and drawing, sculpture, architecture, medicine and farming techniques, enriching the cultural exchanges between China and Japan. He also built a Vagra Temple (Vagra means Buddhist Warrior Attendant) and founded the Zhenyan Sect (the True Word Sect) after his return. He is highly honored by both Japanese and Chinese, and in 1982 Kukai Monument was constructed inside the Green Dragon Temple.

Green Dragon Temple is a place where the cherry blossoms can be enjoyed. Every year during May and June, an endless stream, of tourists comes to appreciate its beauty.