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Longxing Temple
Time:2017-06-09 15:15:50

 

At 1,500 years old, Longxing Temple is one of the most impressive temples in northern China. It's certainly Zhengding’s star attraction. More popularly known as Dafo Temple, or “Great Buddha Temple”, the complex contains an astonishing array of Buddhist statuary, housed in some stunning temple halls.

Dating back to AD 586, the temple has been restored and stands divided from its spirit wall by Zhengding county.

The time-worn bridge out front constitutes a handsome historical prelude. You are greeted in the first hall by the jovial Milefo (the laughing Buddha), while the four Heavenly Kings flanking him in pairs are disconcertingly vast.

Beyond the ruined Hall of Sakyamuni's Six Teachers is the Manichaean Hall, an astonishingly large hall flagged in smooth stone, with amazing carpentry overhead, a huge gilded statue of Shakyamuni and faded Ming frescoes detailing Buddhist tales.

At the rear of the hall is a distinctly male statue of the Goddess Guanyin, seated in a lithe pose with one foot resting on his thigh (a posture known as lalitásana) and surrounded by luohan (disciples freed from the cycle of rebirth).

The Buddhist Altar behind houses an unusual, bronze, Ming-dynasty (1368-1644) two-faced Buddha, gazing north and south.

 

 

There are two halls behind the Buddhist Altar. On the left is the Revolving Library Pavilion, which contains a highly unusual revolving, octagonal, wooden bookcase for the storing of sutras, and some stele on the back of a snarling bixie (a mythical, tortoise-like dragon). Opposite stands the Pavilion of Kindness, containing a fabulous, 7.4 meter-high statue of Maitreya (the future Buddha), one hand aloft.

The immense Pavilion of Great Benevolence contains Longxing Temple's real attraction: a 21.3 meter-tall bronze statue of Guanyin. Created in AD 971 and sporting a third eye, the effigy is wonderful, standing on a magnificently carved base from the Northern Song dynasty (420-479). Examine the carvings, which include myriad characters and musicians, including Buddhist angels (apsaras).

Circumambulated by worshippers, the Hall of Vairocana at the rear of the complex contains a four-faced Buddha (the Buddha of four directions), crowned with another four-faced Buddha, upon which is supported a further set. The entire statue and its base contain 1,072 statues of Buddha in total.

The gardens at the back contain the scattered remains of a temple, including some very old stele and a triple-arched stone pailou, dating from 1591.