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Buddhist Center of Southeast Asia — Hangzhou 2017-06-27
Hangzhou boasts not only enchanting scenery but also profound culture and history. In addition, it is also renowned as the Buddhist Center of Southeast Asia. For those into Buddhist culture and architecture, Hangzhou is a nice place to explore.

Lingyin Temple (灵隐寺)
In Hangzhou, there are two must-visit places during Chinese traditional New Year: one is West Lake and the other is Lingyin Temple.

Lingyin Temple has an age-old history. Legend has it that about 1,600 years ago, an Indian monk named Hui Li (慧礼) traveled to Hangzhou, and found the valley where Lingyin Temple is now situated. He was fascinated by its serene environment, considering it the retreat of the soul. He then built a temple there and named "Lingyin (the retreat of the soul.)". Since its construction, Lingyin Temple has enjoyed high prestige.


Highlights:
1. 200-year-old statue of Maitreya in the Heavenly Guardian Hall (天王殿)
2. 19.6-meter-high statue of Sakyamuni (the largest sitting statue of Buddha) in the Hall of Mahavira (大雄宝殿)
3. 500 life-size bronze Arhats with different expression and postures in Hall of 500 Arhats (五百罗汉堂)
4. Peak Flying from Afar (飞来峰) opposite Lingyin temple, on which are carved many exquisite grottos, with the oldest dating back to the Five Dynasties (907-960).


Three Temples of Tianzhu Hill (天竺三寺)
If Lingyin Temple is the favorite of tourists, then the Three Temples of Tianzhu Hill are where the locals like to go. These three temples are located on Tianzhu Hill and are widely known as Upper Tianzhu Temple (上天竺), Middle Tianzhu Temple (中天竺) and Lower Tianzhu Temple (下天竺) for their location on the hill. Later, names — Faxi Temple (法喜寺), Fajing Temple (法净寺) and Fajing Temple (法镜寺) were given respectively by Emperor Qianlong (1711-1799) of the Qing Dynasty. All these three temples have a long history with the oldest dating back to over 1,600 years ago and the youngest over 1,000 years ago.


Highlights:
1. The vegetarian meals in Upper Tianzhu are definitely worth mentioning. Each vegetarian meal is priced at CNY 5, including a bowl of rice, a plate of vegetarian dishes (Toufu, cabbages, carrots and mushrooms etc) and a bowl of soup. Having a day spent in Three Temples of Tianzhu Hill is a nice way to refresh both your mind and stomach.
2. There is also the legendary Stone of Three Lives (三生石) behind Fajing Temple(法净寺) in the east of Lotus Peak (莲花峰). The huge and rough stone consists of three parts with one representing the previous life, one for the present life, another for the coming life.

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Buddhist Center of Southeast Asia — Hangzhou Ⅱ
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No.188, Fuchun Road, Hangzhou, China
TEL: 86-571-96123
FAX: 86-571-96123
Complain: slw@hz.gov.cn
Consult: slw@hz.gov.cn