Archive for the ‘Guangzhou Travel’ Category

How to Visit Guangxiao Temple Guangzhou

Monday, March 31st, 2014
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Plan your Guangzhou tour? Guangxiao Temple is a big draw in Guangzhou. “Guangxiao”literally means “Bright Filial Piety”.    It is an oldest buddhist monastery in Guangdong Province.  It was originally the mansion of  Prince Zhao Jiande, the grandson of Zhao Tuo – the king of the Nanyue Kingdom during the Western Han Dynasty (206 B.C.- A.D.24).

In the Three Kingdoms period (220–280) it became the Yu Fan’s teaching academy. Yu Fan came here in exile. Yu Fan was an official as well as a scholar. When he died, his family donated Yu Fan’s house (academy) for the temple, called “Zhi Zhi Temple”.

The Mahavira Hall was built in the temple compound during a well-known Indian monk’s stay at the temple in the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317- 420).  In Tang Dynasty (618–907 AD),  the temple was renamed as “Baoen Guangxiao Temple. In Song Dynasty (960 – 1279), it was changed to the present named “Guangxiao Temple”. So the temple has a history of over 17,00 years.

In addition to the famed Mahavira Hall, there are many historical relics and old buildlings. Yifa Pagoda enshrines the hair of the enfluential monk known as Huineng of  Zen Buddhist sect in 7th century.  There are Samgharama Hall, the King of Heaven Hall, and two iron towers, Drum Tower, Bell Tower,  Sixth Ancester Hall, The Zen Hall.

How to get there
It is easily accessed by subway. You may take subway line 1 and get off at Ximenkou Station (西门口), exit  and walk north along Guangxiao Road. At the northern end of Guangziao Road is Guangxiao Temple.  Most probally you will be pestered by beggars and fake monks. Just ignore them otherwise you will be surrounded by them and hard to go away.
Entrance fee: RMB 5
Opening hours: 6:00 – 17:30

Follow me to have a glimpse of Guangxiao Temple.

Guangxiao Temple’s mountain gate

Guangxiao Temple's mountain gate

Guangxiao Temple’s mountain gate

Behind Guangxiao Temple’s mountain gate is the Hall of Heavenly Kings

the Hall of Heavenly Kings

the Hall of Heavenly Kings

Also behind the Hall of Heavenly King is the largest building in the temple – Mahavira Hall.  Between the Heavenly King Hall and Mahavira Hall is a compound people come here for praying and doing religious rituals.

Mahavira Hall

Mahavira Hall

The front gate to Mahavira Hall

The front gate to Mahavira Hall

The front gate to Mahavira Hall

The Drum Tower(Qielan Hall)

The Drum Tower(Qielan Hall)

The Drum Tower(Qielan Hall)

People are doing religious rituals

Ritual

Ritual

 

pious hiddhist followers

pious hiddhist followers

 

Happy hiddhist followers?

Happy hiddhist followers?

 

How to Visit Temple of Six Banyan Trees

Sunday, March 30th, 2014
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In China, almost every city or town has its own old buddhist temples, which are very often the embodiment of the local arts, religion, culture and history. China lacks the gentry estates like the great houses of England and France. Buddhist temples are important monuments left over by our forefathers to the tangible civilization in China.

As the southern gate in China, Guangzhou has no exception with quite a few buddhist temples. There are four most influential buddhist monasteries in Guangzhou, namely Temple of Six Banyan Trees, Guangxiao Temple, Huanlin Temple and Haizhuan Temple. Plan your Guangzhou tour, don’t miss a short visit to the Temple of Six Banyan Trees.

The Temple of Six Banyan Trees was named in 1100 by the Su Dongpo, the great poet in Northern Dynasty (960 – 1127). The original temple goes back much earlier to 547 AD when it was built to enshrine Buddhist relics brought from India. The buddhist relics were placed under the pagoda in the temple. Both the temple buildings and the pagoda went through several partial renovations in each dynasties.

Every temple has more or less the same layout starting from the four heavenly kings hall and ending with the Hall of Sakyamuni ( Daxion Baodian ). What makes Temple of Six Banyan Trees unique is the Octogonal Pagoda inside the temple.  It is  nicknamed “Flower Pagoda” or” Hua Ta” in Chinese due to the colorful appearance.

How to get to Temple of Six Banyan Trees
Take subway line 1 and get off Gongyuanqian Station (公园前站)and walk along Zhongshan Road to the west direction and turn north to Liurongsi Road (Six Banyan Trees Road).
Add: No. 87, Liu Rong Road, Guangzhou Post Code: 510180

Now follow me to look at Temple of Six Banyan Trees.  The Entrance to the Temple of Six Banyan Trees. “六榕” the two Chinese characters above the gate was written by Su Dongpo.

"六榕" the two Chinese characters above the gate

“六榕” the two Chinese characters above the gate

Behind the entrance is the Hall of Heavenly King. Sitting at the front is Maitreya Buddha and at theback is Vedda for worship.

the Hall of Heavenly King

the Hall of Heavenly King

The pagoda is 57.6 m high, octagonal with outside 9 storeys and 17 inside storeys. It is also called a -one thousand buddha statues and 500 arhats statues.

The pagoda is 57.6 m high

The pagoda is 57.6 m high

The Hall of Mahavira, 14m hight houses three copper statues – Sakyamuni,  Amidabutsu and Maitreya

The Hall of Mahavira

The Hall of Mahavira

Pray for peaceful and fruitful life in the front of Hall of Mahavira

Pray for peaceful and fruitful life

Pray for peaceful and fruitful life

 

This is Avalokitdvara Hall (Guanyin Hall), 13m high, rebuilt in 1988. The hall enshrines two bronze statues of Guanyin.

Add on:
How to Visit Guangzhou in One Day

Any questions, just drop a line.

How to Visit Chen Clan Ancestral Hall Guangzhou

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014
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Plan your Guangzhou tour? If you are going to visit Guangzhou just in one day, you should include a visit to  the Chen Clan Ancestral Hall ((陈家祠). The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall was once an ancestral shrine, originally  built in 1888 and completed in 1894.

The construction of the shrine was collectively sponsored by the 72 Chen clans scattered in Guangdong Province for the accommodation and preparation for the imperial examinations and official discussion from Chen families in Qing Dynasty.

Later it was turned to be the Chen Clan’s Industry College, and later middle schools afterward. Now it is home to the Guangdong Folk Arts Museum.  The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall has 9 halls, which are interspaced by 6 courtyards, and flanked by 10 wing rooms and connected by verandas in the traditional Lingnan style.

It is famed for the ornate decoration which is presented inside and outside the halls.  A large collection of wood carving, stone carving, brick carving, pottery, plaster and iron engraving are seen on the wall , beams, columns, ridges, and  a trove of Chinese folk arts.

The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall can easily reached by subway. You may take subway line 1, get off at the station of Chenjiaci ( 陈家祠 – The Chen Clan Ancestral Hall) and  exit from Exit D.  Out from  the subway station, you are able to see the ancestral shrine on your northeast side.  So just have a light walk from the station to the ticketing office of the former ancestral hall.

Opening hours:  8:30 – 17:30   Entrance fee: RMB10
Add: No.7 Zhongshan Road, Guangzhou Zip: 510170
Tel: 020 81814559 Fax: 020 81705098

Follow me to have a close look at the magnificent carvings, statues and paintings with ornate scrollwork throughout the whole buildings of the ancestral shrine.

With an area of 15,000 square meters, the Ancestral  Hall is a symmetrical complex comprising 19 single buildings. The central axis is flanked on both sides by halls, wing-rooms and corridors. The single buildings are interspaced by courtyards and connected with verandas.

The Ancestral Hall sits with its entrance facing the south and a spacious square in its front.

The entrance to the Ancestral Hall

The entrance to the Ancestral Hall

People are fascinated by the ornate carvings on the wall and roofs.

People are fascinated by the ornate carvings on the wall and roofs.

People are fascinated by the ornate carvings on the wall and roofs.

The exquisite stone carvings on the wall

The exquisite stone carvings on the wall

The exquisite stone carvings on the wall

The fascinating plaster carvings on the veranda

The fascinating plaster carvings on the veranda

The fascinating plaster carvings on the veranda

The ornat wood carvings

The sophisticated wood carvings

The sophisticated wood carvings

The Juxian Hall in the center of the Ancestral Hall

 Juxian Hall

Juxian Hall

The long corrior connects halls and courtyards.

The long corridor cinnects halls and courtyards

The long corridor cinnects halls and courtyards

A close look at the plaster carvings on the rooftop.  The exquisite ceramics carvingds

The exquisite ceramics carvingds

The exquisite ceramics carvings

Tip : Hassle-free Guangzhou Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself route and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Guangzhou:

Guangzhou Half Day Tour  from US$75 p/p
Guangzhou Highlight Day Tour    from US$80  p/p

Further Readings


Top 10 Attractions in Guangzhou
How to Visit Guangzhou in One Day
Guangzhou Pearl River Night Cruises
How to Visit Chen Clan Ancestral Hall Guangzhou
How to Visit Mausoleum of the Nanyue King
How to Visit Kaiping Diaolou from Guangzhou

Any questions,  just drop a line.