Why is Xiantong Temple special?
Located at the foot of the Bodhisattva Summit, Xiantong Temple is the biggest and oldest among the five famous temples in Wutai Mountain. Besides, Xiantong Temple together with the White Horse Temple in Luoyang are the two earliest temples in China.
Xiantong Temple Highlights
Xiantong Temple, originally named Dafulinjiu Temple, was first built in the Yongping reign of the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220). According the History of Qingliang Mountain, Emperor Xiaowen of the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534) rebuilt it and expanded it into twelve courtyards, with a garden in the front, so it was also called Garden Temple.
There are 400 rooms, big and small, erected in the Xiantong Temple. These rooms were built imitating the styles of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Inside, there are 3 pure copper halls cast in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), engraved with fine patterns and bronze Buddhist figurines. On the sides, two 13-storied bronze towers also made in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), each with a height of eight meters. They are covered with cast Buddhist figurines, carved patterns and various inscriptions.
The Wuliang Hall
The Wuliang Hall is built of bricks, with seven bays in width and four bays in depth. It follows a wood-like style. Amita Buddha is enshrined in the hall. The Huayan Sutra Pagoda preserved here is an invaluable treasure.
The Copper Hall
The Copper Hall, three bays wide and 5 meters high, has a double-eave gable and hip roof. The body of the hall is proportionally harmonious with skillful cast and bronze gelding. Ten thousand golden small josses are enshrined in the hall. There are two copper pagodas of 8 meters high cast in the Ming Dynasty, with josses cast on the surfaces.