Posts Tagged ‘Pingyao Shuanglin temple’

How to Visit Shuanglin Temple in Pingyao

Friday, October 25th, 2013
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Shuangling Temple was a UNESCO World Heritage site together with the Ancient City of Ping Yao  and  Zhen Guo Temple listed in 1997.  Shuanglin Temple is  a large buddhist temple around Pingyao famed for its over 2,000 colored and decorated clay statues.  If you are not pressed for time when visit Pingyao, a glimpse of Shuanglin Temple is highly recommeded on your Pingyao Tour.

At the time of my writing,  there are no public bus lines connecting Shuanglin Temple with the old town itself.  You take a taxi  ( approx. RMB 60 return taxi fare) or you could cycle there for 7km.  Shuanglin Temple is located in Qiaotou Village 7km to the southwest of Ping Yao ancient city.

Shuanglin Temple was originally named “Zhongdu Temple” built in 571 ( it is said the actual making of the temple was much earlier ).  In Song Dynasty, Zhongdu Temple was renamed “Shuanglin Temple” according to the buddhist buddhist doctrine.  Later,  Shuanglin Temple was destroyed and rebuilt for several time. The present styleof its buildings dates back to Ming and Qing Dynasties.

The present Shanglin Temple has an area of 11620 square meters with its entrance facing south.  An impressive complex of halls forms three courtyards housing a number of intricately carved painted clay statues. Shuanglin Temple looks more authentic than many restored buddhist temples you’ve seen in China. It is worth your exploring here for 1-2 hours.

Now follow me to have a virtual tour of Shuangling Temple. All the indoor halls are forbidden to take pictures. So we cannot present you the ornately carved clay statues.

This is a traditional Chinese archway ( Pailou ) stands facing west outside the compound of Shuangling Temple.

the traditional Chinese archway ( Pailou )

the traditional Chinese archway ( Pailou )

When you enter the pailou, straight ahead, you will see colored Bodhisattva decorated with several arms.
colored Bodhisattva decorated with several arms.

colored Bodhisattva decorated with several arms.

On your left side is the entrance facing south to the temple itself.
the real entrance facing south to the temple itself.

the real entrance facing south to the temple itself.

Enter the temple complex, the first hall is the Hall of Heavenly Kings. outside the hall are four guardian warriors and inside four heavenyly kings and 8 bodhisattvas. These vibrant sculptured were made in Yuan Dynasty ( 1279 – 1368 ) the hall was rebuilt in Ming Dynasty ( 1368 – 1644 ).
the Hall of Heavenly Kings

the Hall of Heavenly Kings

A plaque intricately carved with four Chinese characters hanging over the entrance to the Hall of Heavenly Kings.
A plaque intricately carved with four Chinese characters hanging over the entrance to the Hall of Heavenly Kings.

A plaque intricately carved with four Chinese characters hanging over the entrance to the Hall of Heavenly Kings.

Glazed tiles carved with ornate and beautiful patterns decorate the roof of the Hall.
Glazed tiles carved with ornate and beautiful patterns decorate the roof of the Hall.

Glazed tiles carved with ornate and beautiful patterns decorate the roof of the Hall.

Its roof top is decorated with buddhist images in glazed tiles.
Buddhist images in glazed tiles atop the roof of  the Hall of Sakyamuni

Buddhist images in glazed tiles atop the roof of the Hall of Sakyamuni

Two dragon heads atop the roof ridge of the Hall.
Two dragon head atop the each side the roof ridge of the Hall

Two dragon head atop the each side the roof ridge of the Hall

North of the Hall of Heavenly Kings is the Hall of Sakyamuni, the main hall in the first courtyard formed also by other 4 smaller side halls.  This is one of the main halls in Shuanglin Temple.  Sakyamuni is the title of the Buddha. More than 200 scultpures combined with mountains, stones and buildings in shallow and deep relief tells the life story of the Buddha.
the Hall of Sakyamuni

the Hall of Sakyamuni

A plaque written with four bold Chinese characters hanging over the entrance to the Hall of Sakyamuni.
A plaque written with four bold Chinese characters hanging over the entrance to the Hall of Sakyamuni.

A plaque written with four bold Chinese characters hanging over the entrance to the Hall of Sakyamuni.

Two dragon head atop the each side the roof ridge of the Hall
Two dragon head atop the each side the roof ridge of the Hall

Two dragon head atop the each side the roof ridge of the Hall

North of Sakyamuni Hall is the second courtyard formed by the Precious Hall of Mahavira and other two side halls. The Precious Hall of Mahavira is the tallest building in the temple. The clay sculptures of the welcoming buddha and  three main buddhas and the frescoes were made in Ming Dynasty ( 1368 – 1644 ).
the Precious Hall of Mahavira

the Precious Hall of Mahavira

A plaque written with four bold Chinese characters of the Precious Hall of Mahavira hanging over the entrance to the Hall.
A plaque written with four bold Chinese characters of the Precious Hall of Mahavira hanging over the entrance to the Hall.

A plaque written with four bold Chinese characters of the Precious Hall of Mahavira hanging over the entrance to the Hall.

Yellow Dragons and Buddhist figures atop the roof of the Precious Hall of Mahavira
Yellow Dragons and Buddhist figures atop the roof of the Precious Hall of Mahavira

Yellow Dragons and Buddhist figures atop the roof of the Precious Hall of Mahavira

North of the the Precious Hall of Mahavira is the third courtyard formed by the Hall of Fertility Goddess. This hall was originally built during the reign of Emperor Zhengde ( 1506 – 1521 ). The present sculptures were made in Qing Dynasty ( 1368 – 1644 ) depicting wemen praying for children.
the Hall of Fertility Goddess

the Hall of Fertility Goddess

A group of elephants and dragon heads atop the roof ridge of the Hall of Fertility Goddess
A group of elephants and dragon heads atop the roof ridge of the Hall of Fertility Goddess

A group of elephants and dragon heads atop the roof ridge of the Hall of Fertility Goddess

Any questions, just drop a line.