Why is Linggu Temple special?
Linggu Temple in Nanjing is claimed to be “the best Buddhist temple in the world”. It was built in the Liang Dynasty (502-557), one of the Southern Dynasties (420-589). Over time, the name of the temple has changed several times. The first emperor in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) gave it the current name of Linggu Temple.
The environment of Linggu Temple is very pleasant with aged dark green trees surrounding the temple, sweet fragrance flowers pervading the architecture, and the sound of the bell flying with the gentle wind. The forest and springs add vitality and wild pleasure to the temple.
The vegetarian diet in the temple is noted for over 600 years. The ingredients of the dishes are chosen carefully; the cooking is meticulous; and the appearance of the food is delicate. Shensong House is the famous vegetarian restaurant in the temple. Shensong House is surrounded by a thick forest and blooming flowers. To the east of Shensong House, a spring runs under a bridge; while to the west, the sound of the bell emanates from the ancient temple. It is a place where you can appreciate the wonderful taste of vegetarian diet and enjoy the beautiful natural scenery.
Linggu Temple Highlights
The most famous ancient relics in the temple are the Xuanzang Memorial Hall, the Linggu Pagoda and the Wuliang Hall.
Xuanzang Memorial Hall
Xuanzang Memorial Hall, which is built in memory of a famous monk in the Tang Dynasty (618-907) is situated in the temple. The picture of the route that Xuanzang walked and the sutra he translated are stored in the temple.
Built in 1930, Linggu Pagoda is a Buddhist pagoda that is about 10 stories tall. The site has a shrine that is said to harbor the skull of monk Xuanzang who went to India to collect Buddhist scriptures in the ancient times.
Constructed in 1831, Wuliang Hall is 22 meters high and 53.8 meters wide. The name of Wuliang Hall has interesting origins. Originally the temple was named Wuliang Hall as a memorial ceremony, for a Buddha named Wu Liang was held there. Because it is constructed without any wood, it can also be called Non-beam Hall. However, non-beam is also pronounced Wu Liang in Chinese. The hall was made with stone arches and without wooden beams, which makes the building distinctive.