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Wenshu Temple, Chengdu: 26 reviews and 50 photos

Wenshu Monastery is a famous Buddhist temple in China and is one of four major temples of Zen Buddhism. Initially built in the Sui Dynasty (605-617), Wenshu Monastery was once called Xinxiang Temple. Having undergone times of thriving during the dynasties of Tang, Song, Yuan and Ming, it was destroyed in a war at the end of the Ming Dynasty.

In 1681, during the reign of Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Cidu, an accomplished Buddhist monk, came to the monastery. He built a simple hut between two trees and for several years lived an ascetic life there. Legend has it when Cidu was being cremated; the statue of Wensu (Bodhisattva Manjusri in Sanskrit) appeared in the flames, staying for a long time. So people regarded Cidu as the reincarnation of the Bodhisattva Manjusri. Thereafter, Xinxiang Temple became Wenshu Monastery when it was rebuilt in 1697.

The temple covers a large area of some 200,000 square meters and features six major halls positioned along the central axis. There are 200 statues of Buddha’s and Bodhisattvas moulded in copper, iron, bronze, jade, gauze and clay, or carved from wood and stone. Since the Tang and Song dynasties, over 500 pieces of painting and calligraphy by celebrities have been stored here. The monastery is a must visit whilst in Chengdu.

Open: 8am-6pm. Admission: Y5.

Address: Just off Renmin Zhong Lu on Wenshu Yuan Jie
Directions: Bus No.16 passes through the center of town to Renmin Zhong Lu.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Apr 4, 2011
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