Gaomin Temple locates at the bank of Sancha River in the south of Yangzhou City. The river also witnessed the history of the Buddhist temple. It is a holy Buddhist temple built during the Sui Dynasty (581-618). It was regarded as one of the four famous Chinese Buddhist temples in China, also known as “four jungle”, together with Zhenjiang’s Jinshan Temple, Changzhou’s Tianning Temple and Ningbo’s Tiantong Temple. It enjoys a high reputation not only in China, but also in some Southeast Asian countries.
Gaomin Temple’s history
Gaomin Temple was built during the Sui Dynasty, but it experienced many renovations and changed several names in history. In 1651, during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912), the temple was rebuilt as a palace and the officials started to build the Tianzhong Tower.
In 1654, the tower in the temple was completed with several new courtyards added. In 1699, Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty visited Yangzhou three times. He noticed the slant tower and ordered to repair it. The local merchants raised the funds to repair and expand the temple. In 1703, Emperor Kangxi made his fourth trip to Yangzhou. He climbed to the Tianzhong Tower, overlooked from the top and felt the high spires, thus he renamed it as Gaomin Temple.
In 1771, the tower was blown down by the hurricane. It was repaired by the salt merchants in the following year. In 1844, the pagoda collapsed again because of the fire, left only a small remains hence it was difficult to maintain the original view.
Attractions in Gaomin Temple
Daxiong Palace was completed in June 1996. The Palace was built in an imperial style. The hall is 40 meters long, 33 meters wide and 30 meters tall, covering an area of 1,320 square meters. The status of Sakyamuni Buddha was displayed in the middle, with Eighteen Arhats. The statuses are made of painted sculptures with vivid shapes. The personalities and characteristics of the different statuses are delicately and vividly expressed with a rich life atmosphere, which adds a lot of glories to the ancient temple.
Meditation Hall is where the monks have the daily meditation. The meditation hall was rebuilt in 1990, with the investment of more than 500,000 RMB by a Buddhist from Hong Kong. The hall has a height of 18 meters and an unequal-sided octahedral structure, with the construction area is 365 square meters. There are exquisite golden carvings and paintings. The eight Buddha figures in the hall face to different directions. The exterior is magnificent while the interior is spacious, which combines the ancient and modern architectural features together.