Xichan Temple locates in Gulou’s District. It is one of the five major Buddhist temples in Fuzhou, which is also a national key temple. With a history of over 1,150 years, Xichan Temple already had undergone natural disasters and anthropic damages in various dynasties, since it was built in 867 during the Tang Dynasty. Covering an area of 7.7 hectares, the temple is grand with 36 halls that all oriented south and north. Xichan Temple enjoys a fame home and abroad. It is no doubt a good platform to exchange culture and Buddhism among Southeast Asian countries. A great number of foreign eminent monks and disciples come to visit the temple every year.
History of Xichan Temple
Xichan Temple was built by a great monk of Tang Dynasty, named Da An (793-883). He was born in Fuqing County of Fujian Province, who became a monk in his 24 in Qianyuan Temple.
In 933, the temple was renamed as Changqing Temple. After being destroyed by the war, only the main hall, the Tibetan scripture pavilion, the law hall, and the Western monastery hall were existed. It was repaired twice in the Song Dynasty (960-1279). The present scale and layout were finalized in Qing Dynasty (1636-1911). Most of the halls seen today were rebuilt in modern times.
In the old days of Fuzhou, there were Buddhist temples in the four suburbs of east, west, south, and north in Fuzhou. Since Changqing temple was located in the western suburbs, so later it is commonly known as "Xichan temple".
During the Anti-Japanese War, the Xichan Temple was blasted by the Japanese military aircraft. Afterwards, the temple’s supervisor, Zheng Liang, and other members from Singapore, Malaysia, and Vietnam actively raised funds to repair it and maintain the original layout basically. After 1949, the Xichan Temple has been reconstructed again. The patriotic overseas Chinese monks made donations to restore the temple and build the Jade Buddha Building.
Main attractions at Xichan Temple
Xichan Temple is famous for the litchi trees, which have attracted renowned scholars with their praising words and sentences in successive dynasties. There are hundreds of litchi trees in the temple, among which the oldest one was planted in 9th century by the master Hui Ji. The temple teems with litchi during the mature season. There are many stories and poems left by people in the annual Litchi Festival.
The Jade Buddha Building in the temple is dedicated to two jade carved Buddha statues, which were donated by the overseas Chinese. One is a sitting Shakyamuni Buddha with a height of 2.3 meters. The other is a reclining Buddha with a length of 4 meters and a weight of 10 tons. The Guanyin Pavilion worships the Thousand-hand Kwan-yin, which is made of 29 tons of brass.