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Xiangguo Temple
Name:Xiangguo Temple
Tel:No. 54 Freedom Road, Kaifeng Tel:0086-371-65907709 0086-400-666-0166 Skype:karenzheng2004

The time-honored
Temple lies in the downtown area of

Kaifeng, the Capital of Seven Dynasties, which was once the most prosperous city in the world and is a historical and cultural ancient city now. There is an old folk saying, “The first beauty is
Suzhou (a garden city in
Jiangsu province in southeast of
China), the second
Hangzhou (the capital city of
Zhejiang province in southeast of
China) and the third

Kaifeng”. The magnificent

Temple plays an important role in Chinese Buddhism. The
Temple is said to have been the residence of Prince Wuji (also called Xin Lin Jun) in the

State of the Warring Period. Unfortunately, it was destroyed in the war and never rebuilt until the 2nd year of Jingyun in the Period of the Tang Dynasty (
711A.D).The Emperor Ruizong of the Tang Dynasty renamed the

Temple “Xiangguo” and inscribed the name himself in A.D.
712 in order to celebrate his ascension to the throne.

The Peak period of the
Temple was during the Tang and Song Dynasty, especially in the Northern Song Dynasty when it became the top
Temple in

China, in terms of its scale and magnificent constructions: it covers an area of 33 hectares including 64 Zen courtyards and other branches under its administration, housing more than one thousand monks. Its complex buildings were recorded as the most splendid ones in the world, with its abbots given titles by emperors. As the imperial
Temple then,

Temple also served as a place for imperial activities, such as, the celebrations of the emperor's birthday, blessings, or burning incense for worship, even the ceremony to sanction successful candidates for the imperial examination. As the Northern Song Dynasty came to an end, the

Temple was destroyed by the Jin troops. And the flourishing

Temple was doomed to bad luck in the succeeding dynasties, in spite of being repaired and renovated several times. All main buildings in the

Temple today were built in the Qing Dynasty, and appear compact in the pattern of its spacious and grand halls. It is really worthy of the reputation as one of the top ancient
Temples in


Surrounded by burning incense and colorful flags, with its elegant bell ringing,
Temple is a key place in exchanging Buddhist culture between

China and foreign countries. In the Tang Dynasty, the Japanese monk Konghai, who came to
China to learn Buddhism in Chang'an (today's
Xi'an), once stayed and studied in the

Temple. After his return to

Japan, he not only preached Buddhism, but also created the Japanese characters for the written words. In the Song Dynasty,

Temple was the imperial reception center for foreign monks, and a place often visited by ambassadors from other countries. During the period of Emperor Shenzong of the Song Dynasty, a group of Japanese monks worshipped there; and then built a
Temple in
Kyoto, which was also titled“
Temple”, out of the respect to the
Temple in


The ancient

Temple is preserved quite well and this makes it famous in the world. On Nov. 6th, 1992, 4000 abbots, both from home and abroad, attended the celebration activities of the opening of the Buddha figure, the welcoming and worshipping ceremony of the Buddhist sutra, and the succession ceremony of the abbot of the Xiangguo Temple. Zhao Puchu, the previous chairman of

China’s Buddhist Association, attended the ceremony and presented the Great Buddhist Sutra from the Emperor Qianlong Period, which includes more than 7000 books. Moreover, a Japanese delegation of 19 monks had signed the agreement of friendly temples.

Now, the

Temple covers an area of two hectares, with ancient relics including the Tianwang Hall, the Daxiong Hall, the Octagonal Glazed Hall, and the scripture-keeping tower. In 1993, the Sakyamuni’s sari-putta (remains of the burned bones) given by the Linshan

Singapore, was enshrined here. And all of the blazing Arhats in the halls are considered treasures of Buddhism. In the Octagonal Glazed Hall, there stands a large four-faced wooden statue of Kwan-yin with one thousand delicate arms. It was carved out of one gingko tree trunk, with a height of 7 meters. It took over 50 years to complete the carving. Its divine workmanship and magnificent shape are unparalleled and are culturally valuable to the world, thus the statue holds a great reputation both at home and abroad.

At the beginning of the lunar New Year, the annual Lantern Festival is held here. With the shining lanterns, fireworks, and sweet sound of songs and drums, the beautiful

Temple foresees the peace and prosperity of the country and the happiness of people. Whenever there are cultural activities, people of all ages rush out to this ancient

Temple where they can enjoy themselves through either appreciating beautiful lanterns or participating in various traditional performances. In October, the

Temple is fragrant with chrysanthemums. After the opening of the

Kaifeng chrysanthemum exhibition, the annual prayer ceremony opens with praying for the peace of the world and the health of the people. The resounding recitation prays for a good harvest, prosperity and peace for the country; the resounding bell ring blesses the prosperity of Buddhism and this ancient



No. 54 Freedom Road,

Transportation: by Bus No. 5, 9, 20

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