Do you want to get rid of the concrete jungles and want to find an escape away from urban hustle? It's time for a thorough relax in spirit, and visiting Lingyin Temple is definitely a remarkable choice for you. Located in northwest of the West Lake, Hangzhou, Lingyin Temple and its surrounding areas are now marked as Lingyin-Flying Over Peak Scenic Area. You will get immersed in the rich Buddhist culture with dense woods and clouds.
Lingyin Temple, also known as Temple of the Soul’s Retreat, is a famous ancient Buddhist temple seated in the north west of Zhejiang province, China. Hidden between the North Peak and the Flying Over Peak, Lingyin Temple is home to numerous pagodas and grottoes with a history of about 1700 years.
You will find yourself in a place where you can enjoy peace and seclusion. According to a story, there was an Indian monk named Huilin who made his journey to Hangzhou 1600 years ago. He was greatly fascinated by the peak with marvelous landscape and thick forests, which in his eyes was the right place that one can gain seclusion and peace. He thus built the temple and named it Lingyin, where people can get their souls retreated. When you travel in Lingyin Temple, the following spots worth your visit.
- Hall of Four Heavenly Kings
- Mahavira Hall
- Hall of Bhaisajyaguru
You will be appealed by the elaborately designed ceiling decorated with phoenix and dragons on entering the hall. The niche of the statue Maitreya Buddha with naked belly, is the main statue of this hall, which is sitting on a futon with beaming eyes. Seeing it you will forget all the annoyance. At the back is the Skanda Buddha, dressed in amour and a golden helmet, which looks in good spirit. You can see the painted statue of the Four Heavenly Kings on both sides of the hall, all dressed in heavy amours with a height of 8 meters.
Crossing a large courtyard dotted with ancient trees behind the Hall of Four Heavenly Kings, you will see the Mahavira Hall, in the middle of which sits the statue of Sakyamuni on a lotus throne. The vivid statue, combined great charm with solemnity, is one of the largest Camphor-made sitting status in China as well as a rare religious art treasure. Along the two sides of the main hall are the statue of the twenty standing Heavenly Gods and twelve sitting Enlightenment Buddha. Arranged on the back wall of the main hall are 150 lively images of Buddhist and legendary figures and their stories, including Guanyin, the Monkey King, Daoji, Four Heavenly Kings and so on.
Heading behind you’ll see the Hall of Bhaisajyaguru sitting on the lotus pedestal, also known as the medicine Buddha, is believed to be able to free all living creatures from pain, illness and disasters. The Emperor of the Sunlight and the Emperor of the Moonlight, together with the Bhaisajyaguru Buddha, known as “the Three Saints of the East” are also in this hall.
Another must-see scenic spot in Hangzhou is the Flying Over Peak ( Feilai Feng in Chinese), which is in front of Lingyin Temple. As is indicated in the name, the Flying Over Peak means that the peak was flown from faraway places. Legend has it that the monk Huili in Lingyin Temple one day took a trip here and was deeply shocked by the towering peaks. He believed that these Peaks must fly from India. Thus the peaks got the name of Flying Over Peak.
When wandering in the Peak, you will be greatly marveled at the rare stones, ancient trees and sequestered caves with distinctive charm as well as rich historical and cultural values. What are hidden in the dense forest are numerous grottoes with vivid statues, which you will never regret seeing them.
- Qinglin Grotto
- Statue of Maitreya Buddha
Qinglin Grotto is also called Tiger Grotto as its shape is like the tiger’s mouth. Above the entrance of the cave are three Buddha statues, known as Three Saints of Huayan. All of the statues are well reserved and showed exquisite carving art during the Five dynasties.
The stone carvings in Flying Over Peak are also worth seeing. On the cliffs of Flying Over Peak and the cliffs along the stream, more than 470 stone statues were carved during the Five Dynasties and Yuan Dynasty. Among all these, the most eye-catching one is the statue of Maitreya Buddha, which is also the largest stone statue in Flying Over Peak as well as the earliest Maitreya Buddha in China. The open-minded and grinning all the time image of the Buddha impresses every tourist and rid people of their worldly disturbance.
Opening Hours:07:00-18:15. (During Buddha's Day or National Holidays, 30 minutes in advance in the morning.)
Lingyin Temple: 30RMB
Flying Over Peak: 45RMB
Note: 1. One has to purchase the Flying Over Peak Scenic Spot ticket first to enter the scenic area, and an extra ticket for the temple only is needed. 2. Tickets stop being sold at 17:30 and stop being checked at 17:45.
You can take the bus line 7, 807 or tour bus 1, 2, 4 and get off and Lingyin Temple Station.