Located in NW Gansu and in the middle section of the Silk Road, Zhangye was called Ganzhou in ancient times. Today, we are going to visit the Big Buddha Temple. Here, you will visit the largest indoor clay statue of Buddha in China, and see the simple and exquisite mural sculptures and ancient buildings in the temple, plus experience the ancient religious art.
The Introduction of the Big Buddha Temple:
Big Buddha Temple, Zhangye, is located in the southwest corner of Zhangye as a well-known Buddha worship place, has its founding in the 1st year of Yongan during the reign of Emperor Chongzong In Xixia Dynasty and strengthening maintenance for many times. The existing buildings include Big Buddha Hall, Scripture Library Tower and Earth Tower. The Big Buddha Temple is one of the most important tourist attractions and the landmark of Zhangye, it will attract a large number of tourists come to visit every year.
The area of Big Buddha Temple of Zhangye:
The existing area of the Big Buddha Temple is not large, with a depth of about 200 metres and a width of about 100 metres, and if you want to visit the whole temple, you can just walk around from the west side of Big Buddha Temple Square to visit.
What to visit in Big Buddha Temple:
Now the main buildings of the Buddha Temple that can visit are The Buddha Hall, the Hall of Ten Thousand Saints (now the exhibition hall of Buddhist art ), the Tibetan Sutra Hall (Sutras Exhibition Hall), The Earth Pagoda and the Shanxi Guild to name just a few. It will take about 1-2 hours to visit.
The Buddha Hall:
The Buddha Hall is the most important building in the temple, the hall is dominated by one of the largest indoor clay sculptures of the reclining Buddha in China, and it reclining Buddha is shaped according to the image of Buddha Sakyamuni, the Buddha is 34.5 metres long and 7.5 metres wide, which is quite large. Apart from the Great Buddha, there are also many statues of ten disciples and eighteen Arhats, as well as murals that record the travels to the West and the Classic of Mountains and Rivers, all of which are quite exquisite.
Reclining Buddha Statue:
The reclining Buddha worshipped in the main hall of the Buddha Temple is a wooden based clay statue. it is 34.5 metres long and 7.5 metres wide at the shoulders and with 4 metres long feet. Painted in gold, the image looks vivid and life-like.
The Hall of Ten Thousand Saints (now the exhibition hall of Buddhist art ):
The Hall of Ten Thousand Saints and the Hall of Tibetan Sutras are located in the central part of Great Buddha Temple. There are many Buddhist statues, grotto statues, classics and books in the hall, and they are illustrated with words and pictures. Here we can learn about the art of Buddhism and the glorious history of the Great Buddhist Temple. Among the exhibits, it has more than 6,000 volumes of Buddhist Sutras bestowed by Emperor Yingzong of Ming, many of them are written in pure gold, which is the treasure of Zhangye Great Buddha Temple.
The Earth Pagoda:
The Earth Pagoda is situated on the east side of the Great Buddha Hall, it is more than 30 meters high, and the earth pagoda has two layers plus four small pagodas on each floor, the shape of the earth pagoda is exquisite. In addition, there are many Buddha statues enshrined in the temple, which are quite simple and magnificent.
The Shanxi Guild:
Shanxi Guild is situated on the northeast side of the Great Buddha Temple, it is a typical northwest residential house. The ancient buildings are carved beams and painted columns, which is very simple and beautiful.
Big Buddha Temple Entrance Fee & Opening Hours
|Big Buddha Temple Entrance Fee||CNY 38|
|Opening Hours||1st January - 31st March ( 8:30-17:30 )
1st April - 1st October ( 8:00-18:00 )
1st November - 31st December ( 8:30-17:30 )
In order to protect cultural relics and respect Buddhist beliefs, tourists are not allowed to take photos inside of the Buddhist temple.
The Wooden Pagoda in Zhangye is about 300 metres northeast of Great Buddha Temple, and tourists can walk there for sightseeing.