Plan your Luoyang Tour? Guanlin Temple is not to be missed. Different from White Horse Temple, it is not a buddhist temple. Instead it is a temple dedicated to Guanyu (160AD-219AD), a famous general in later Eastern Han Dynasty (25AD- 220AD) and early Three Kingdoms period (220AD-280AD).
“Guan” refers to Guanyu himself; “Lin” here means “tomb”. “Guanyu Temple” means Guanyu’s tomb and temple, the only combined place of tomb and temple in China. Guanyu was a great general in Shu State of the Three Kingdoms period. The other two kingdoms were Wei State and Wu State.
Guanyu was loyal to his ruler, the king of Shu State, Liubei and fought bravely for his state of Shu against the State of Wu and the State of Wei. In a fierce battle at Jingzhou, he was captured and executed by Sunquan, the head of Wu State. He had Guanyu’s head cut off and sent it to Caocao, the ruler of Wei State. Caocao admired Guanyu
for his integrity, loyalty, bravery and wisdom. In Jan, 220, He ordered to built a tomb to commemorate Guanyu’s head placed on a wooden body. The burial site of Guanyu’s head is in the tomb behind temple area in Guanlin Temple.
The present temple structures before the tomb were built in 1512AD in Ming Dynasty (1368AD-1644AD) and further expanded in Qing Dynasty (1644AD-1911AD). So most of the halls and pavilions in the temple were built in Ming and Qing dynasties.
In history Guanyu had been favored bot by common people and emperors alike. Now today Guanyu enjoys even greater popularity and fame both at home and abroad. Guanyu is also respected and included by Buddhism and Taoism. So Guanyu has been deified and worshippped by people all over China and abroad. His deification is manifestied by the numerous Guandi Temple ( temple for Guanyu) around China, also could be found in the Chinese communities globally.
Why Guanyu? He embodys integrity, loyalty, bravery and wisdom, which are lacked in the modern people today! Next time don’t confuse a Guandi temple with a buddhist temple.
Guanlin Temple is located in the south of Luoyang city, about 7km from the city center. You take bus 55,58，69，15，39，71 and 81. The entrance fee is RMB 40. Opening time: 08:00 – 17:00.
The entrance to Guanlin Temple
The second second gate to the second yard which is dedicated to Guanyu
The holy way leading to the temple housing the statue of Guanyu
Burning incense and pray before the Guanlin Temple
Guanyu is also respected as a God of Wealth depicted by Taoism. This is a temple named “Wealth God Temple”.
The Tomb of Guanyu