Amongst the key attractions in Hangzhou, the Lingyin Temple holds a significant place amongst Buddhist devotees and here’s what you need to know about this captivating site.
A Rich History
The origins of the temple go back to the Eastern Jin Dynasty in the fourth century AD. According to legend, an Indian monk found the setting here so peaceful and spiritual that he built the initial site and gave it the name, ‘Temple of the Soul’s Retreat’. Today, it’s home to varied relics and Buddhist treasures and literature that offer insights into Chinese Buddhism too.
The Lingyin Temple is around 9 km from the well-known West Lake in Hangzhou; accommodation options in the Gongshu District such as the lyf Mid-Town Hangzhou co-living space make an ideal base for your trip. Apart from using a taxi, you can also reach the site by taking a bus (#7, Y2, 324, 807) to the Lingyin Station.
The Statue of Sakyamuni
Amongst the notable things to see here is the statue of the founder of Buddhism, Shakyamuni Buddha, sitting on a lotus flower. This impressive attraction is in the main hall known as the Hall of the Great Hero; carved from camphor wood and covered in gold leaf, the statue reaches a total height of around 82 feet and is set amidst various murals and other sculptures.
Other Sites of Interest
On your visit, you can also explore the Hall of the Buddha of Medicine and the Hall of the Heavenly King; in the latter, you will not only find a painted ceiling and a depiction of the Four Heavenly Kings but a statue of Maitreya or the laughing Buddha. Another attraction worth mentioning is the Cool Spring Pavilion which offers an idyllic setting to unwind.