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We had an absolutely perfect day with our tour guide - Rogin Luo - who took us for a hike along The Great Wall! Didn't know what to expect and were thrilled to have him as our guide. Very imformative, knowledgable and fun! We go to experience a part of The Great Wall that was unrestored and see all its natural beauty. Got a long history lesson along the way!

After the hike, we all went to lunch at a small place at the bottom of the hill. Located in a house, we ate lunch in the proprietors bedroom! What a hoot! Rogin is the Best of the Best! This tour company delivered for us and we are extremely grateful.

Westborough, Massachusetts
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Home  »  China Travel Guide  »  Beijing Travel Guide   »  Fayuan Temple
Fayuan Temple

Fayuan Temple

Fayuan Temple Fayuan Temple was built in the Tang Dynasty, situated at the south of Jiaozi Alley outside the Beijing Xuanwumen. It is not only the oldest Buddhist temple, but also the location for the China Buddhism Institution and China Buddhism Library and Relic Centre, as well as an important venue for nurturing young monks and Buddhism research. Fayuan Temple spreads over an area of 6700 m2. Fayuan Temple which consists of 13 halls carefully layout over a huge compound, is the oldest ancient temple buildings in Beijing.

The bronze sculptures pf the Four Heavenly Kings (Davarajas) and lions date from the Ming Dynasty, as do the rare gilded figures of the three Buddhas-Vairochana (Piluzhena), Manjusri (Wenshu), and Samantabadra (Puxian). The huge stone urn in the form of a Buddhist alms bowl, Fayuan Temple which stands on a double base before the Hall of Pure Karma (Jingyetang) rivals the jade urn in the Circular Wall (Tuancheng) in Beihai Park in terms of size and decoration. The sides of the Platform in Memory of the Loyal (Minzhongtai) are inscribed with a cursive rendering of The Ode to the Pagoda by Zhang Shijin in the calligraphy of Su Lingzhi, who lived in the Tang Dynasty. There are also many fine examples of stelae, stone carvings, stone pillars inscribed with Buddhist sutras, plaques inscribed in the calligraphy of emperors and printed Buddhist scriptures, all dating from the Ming and Qing dynasties.

According to the Shuntian Prefecture Annals, Li Shimin, the second emperor officers and soldiers who lost their lives in battles, built the temple in 645. At the time it was called the Minzhongsi (the Temple in Memory of the Loyal). Fayuan Temple It was rebuilt in the Zhengtong period (1436-1449) of the Ming Dynasty and renamed the Temple of Exalted Happiness (Chongfusi). Its present name dates from 1734.

When Emperor Qinzong of the Northern Song Dynasty (reigned 1125-1127) was captured by troops of the Jin Dynasty, he was held prisoner in the temple. When the Southern Song official Xie Fangde was taken to Beijing by the troops of the succeeding Yuan Dynasty, he refused to surrender and starved himself to death here.

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