Why is Temple of the Six Banyan Trees special?
Enjoying a history of over 1400 years, Temple of Six Banyan Trees is one of the four well renowned Buddhist temples in Guangdong province. Originally called Baozhuangyan Temple, the Temple of Six Banyan Trees won the name by the great litterateur Su Dongpo in the Song Dynasty (960-1279). During the visit, he found six lush banyan trees and wrote the inscription Liu Rong (Six Banyan Trees). Thus the temple was called so ever since.
Every year on the Chinese traditional Spring Festival and Lantern Festival, the temple becomes a busy area, which assembles some similarities with Yonghegong Lama Temple in Beijing. Numerous people queue to burn the first joss stick in order to be blessed by gods in the coming year.
Temple of the Six Banyan Trees Highlights
Tianwang Hall and Weituo Hall
The structure of the temple is well designed and exquisite. The Tianwang Hall is the first hall after entering in the mountain gate. The Laughing Buddha is there welcoming visitors from all over the world. Behind Tianwang Hall is the Weituo Hall. Legend says that Weituo was a general guarding the Buddhist relics. His straight face looks very serious and frightful, which shows a distinct contrast with the Laughing Buddha.
Six Banyan Pagoda
Standing in the middle of the courtyard and surrounded by halls and pavilions, Six Banyan Pagoda is the most eye-catching attraction in the temple. It is a pagoda where Buddhist relics are stored. The roofs curve looks like flower petals; the tip of the pagoda is like stamens; and the whole construction looks like a huge stigma high in the air. Therefore, the pagoda gets the name of Flowery Pagoda for its beautiful appearance and enchanting scenery around.
Daxiong Baodian Hall
Situated at the west of the Six Banyan Pagoda there is the main hall of the temple, called Daxiong Baodian Hall. Three biggest copper Buddhist statues placed are among the most ancient Buddhist statues in Guangdong. The middle one is Sakyamuni, to the left, the Amitabha and to the right, the Apothecary Buddha. They stand for present, past and future.