Lingyin Temple is a famous Buddhist temple in China. It is also called the Yunlin Temple. It locates northwest of West Lake. The Lingyin Temple is between the Feilai Peak and the Beigao Peak. Full of tall trees and high mountains, Lingyin Temple is a quiet and pleasant attraction in the Jiangnan area.
The Lingyin Temple was first built in 326, and it has a history of more than 1600 years. An Indian shaman came here, once seeing the elegant hills, he thought it is a place where people’s souls retreat. So he built a temple which is named Lingyin Temple (Temple of Soul’s Retreat). Now, the Lingyin Temple was repaired several times during the Qing Dynasty.
There are three main halls in Lingyin Temple. Along the middle axes, there are Tianwang Dian (main hall), Daxiongbao Dian, and Yaoshi Dian. Facing the hill gate, there is a Buddha niche that worships the Maitreya figure of Buddha with a smile. Opposite the hill gate, there is a Buddha niche that worships another figure of Buddha with high spirits. It is 2.5 meters tall. And it is made of camphor wood. It is a precious relic from the Southern Song Dynasty. On the two sides of the Tianwang Dian, there are painted sculptures of four kings. Two are powerful and two are kind. They are quite amazing.
The Daxiongbao Dian is in the center of the temple. In the center of the main hall, there is a sculpture of Sakyamuni sitting on the lotus. It is 24.8 meters tall. It is vivid and awesome. It is one of the biggest woodcarving figures of Buddha and a very precious religious work in China. There are many other figures of Buddha with beautiful legends in this main hall.
The Yaoshi Dian was built in recent years. There worship some figures of Buddha, such as the apothecary (Yaoshi), the son of the Sun, and the son of the Moon, etc. on the left of the main hall, there is the rebuilt Buddhist Saint Hall which holds 500 stone sculptures of Buddhist Saints. Along the two sides of the platform in front of Daxiongbao Dian, there are two stone pagodas with exquisite carvings.
Except for the temple itself, the attractions surrounding are also amazing. The Peak Flown From Afar (Feilai Peak) is not only a beautiful attraction but also an important area of ancient grotto art in Southern China. On the cliffs, there are more than 330 stone sculptures from ancient China. Of the many sculptures, the most attractive one is the smiling Maitreya. It is the biggest stone sculpture on Feilai Peak. It is a masterpiece of the Song Dynasty, and it has a high value in art.
In Tongtian Cave, there is an unforgettable sculpture of Kwan-yin. And A Gleam of Sky is amazing. You can see a gleam of sky through the rocks in the cliffs, so the name comes. In front of A Gleam of Sky is the famous Cool Spring. Going to Beigao Peak, there is the golden lotus pool, which is one of the famous springs in Hangzhou.
All in all, coming to the Lingyin Temple attraction area, you may see the unforgettable natural and cultural treasures of China. Don’t miss it!
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