Monday, September 22, 2008

Bao'en Temple

Bao'en Temple is a well-preserved fifteenth century monastery complex located in northwestern , China. It was built by Wang Xi, a local chieftain, between 1440 and 1446 during 's reign in the Ming Dynasty .


As is typical in Chinese Buddhist temples, the major halls were constructed along a central while the minor halls and other structures were built along axes. The many galleries connecting the halls form rectangular courtyards. Numerous other buildings are part of the complex including a meditation hall, a fasting hall, and storage halls. Stele pavilions stand on the east and west sides. As is characteristic of the Ming style, in every hall part of the ceiling is exposed.

At the centre of Dabei Hall is a golden statue of Guanyin, the goddess of mercy, carved out of a nanmu tree. The figure is nine metres tall and has 1,004 clusters of hands and eyes. At the centre of Huayan Hall is the revolving sutra cabinet, a huge octagonal wooden structure that turns like a lever and even today can still turn smoothly.

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