The Great Buddha Temple or Dafo Temple is an ancient Buddhist temple in Zhangye, Gansu, China. After the rebuild project in 2005, the Great Buddha Temple now attracts thousands of visitors every day. The Great Buddha Temple has experienced several centuries and at the same time, it has changed several names, including the "Kasyapa Buddha Temple", the "Bojue Temple", the "Hongren Temple", and the "Reclining Buddha Temple".
The temple was built at the beginning of the 12th century, during the Western Xia period. Originally dating to almost 1100 years ago, this behemoth of a temple contains an astonishing 35m-long sleeping Buddha-China’s largest of this variety - surrounded by mouldering clay arhats and Qing-dynasty murals. Until the 1960s, small children would climb up to the huge Buddha and play inside of the Buddha’s tummy.
The hall which contains the Buddha is 48 meters (157 ft) long and 24 meters (79 ft) wide. The height is 33 meters (108 ft). It has a Qing dynasty mural, which is a very precious one, because it is one of the few wooden structures of its period which survive. The mural tells the story of Xuanzang and his followers. It shows that Xuanzang riding on a horse and the monkey king Sun Wukong kneeling on the ground.
In 1996, the Great Buddha Temple was listed under the national relic protection unit by the State Council. It is also a good place to admire delicate painting sculpture, ancient buildings and ancient religious art. The Great Temple has experienced several centuries and it is so valuable to be preserved well till now. The temple tells the history of the Buddhism, and the history of Zhangye City.
Opening Hours: 08:00 - 18:00
Recommended Time for a Visit: One Hour
Location: Dafosi Alley, Zhangye City Southwest, Gansu Province, China
Transportation: by bus No.4,5,6,7,8, or Airport Express and get off at Dafosi Station or Nanchengxiakou Station