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Eight Great Temples

Buddha in Eight great templesThe Badachu (Eight Great Temples) is a traditional name given to eight Buddhist temples-Chang an si, Lingguangsi, Sanshan an, Dabeisi, Longwangtang, Xiangjiesi, Baozhudong and Zhengguosi respectively--nestle among the clouds and dense forest on the Cuiwei, Pingpo and Lushi hills in Beijing's Western Hills area. They have long history, many cultural relics and beautiful scenery.

 

Eight Buddhist Temples in Badachu

Chang'ansi (Temple of Eternal Peace) in Badachu (Eight Great Temples), first built in 1504, is situated on the plain at the foot of Cuiwei Hill. Facing east, the temple is comprised of two courtyards. In the temple there is an ancient bronze bell struck as part of Buddhist rituals, which dates from the Ming Dynasty and is a precious cultural relic. Additionally, in the rear courtyard there are two white pines reputed to date from the Yuan Dynasty.

Standing on the east slopes of Cuiwei Hill is the Lingguangsi (Temple of Divine Light) in Badachu (Eight Great Temples), which was built in the Tang Dynasty in the 8th century. A 10-storied multi-eave brick pagoda built in the Liao Dynasty once stood in the temple which was known as the Zhaoxianta(Pagoda for Entertaining Immortals) and was destroyed by the Eight-Power Allied Forces when they occupied Beijing in 1 900. "The tooth relic of Buddha" was found when people were cleaning off the pagoda's base after the founding of People's Republic of China. In 1956, the People's Government erected a new 13-storied pagoda on the site of the Liao foundation and named it the "Pagoda of the Buddha's Tooth". and then the site become a holy place worshiped by the Buddhist groups of all countries in the world.

The Sanshan'an (Three—Mountain Nunnery) in Badachu (Eight Great Temples) derives its name from the fact that it is situated between Cuiwei, Pingpo and Lushi hills. At the doorway of the main hall there is a rectangular "Shuiyun Pagoda in Eight great temples(Cloud and Water)Stone" cawed with images of scenery, human figures and animals. It is the precious treasure of this temple.

Dabeisi (Temple of Great Mercy) in Badachu (Eight Great Temples), situated in the halfway up the mountain, is composed of three courtyards. The carved statues of the 18 arhats in the front hall of the temple, which was molded with the mixture of sandalwood powder and fragrant sands, are some of the finest in alI of the Eight Great Temples. It is said that these arhats were made by a handicraftsman named Liu Yuan.

The Longwangtang (Temple of Dragon King) in Badachu (Eight Great Temples), located to the northwest of the Dabeisi, is also known as Longquan'an (Dragon Spring Nunnery). In 1645 during the Qing Emperor Shunzhi's reign, a clear spring was found here, and then the temple was added.


First constructed during the Tang Dynasty, the Xiangjiesi (Temple of the Fragrant World) in Badachu (Eight Great Temples) is the largest temple complex in the entire area. In the past, it served as the summer villa of Chinese emperors. Built along the mountain slope, the temple is magnificent and imposing. Two stone tablets stand in the back of the Tianwangdian (Hall of Heavenly Kings). The east one was made by Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty, which records the process of constructing the temple. The west one is an inscribed tablet of Tang Dynasty, on which a quite fine and lifelike figure of Bodhisattva was engraved on the facade and two Chinese characters "Jing Fo" (Worshiping Buddha) on the back. It was said that it was unearthed during the Kangxi's reign period when the temple was rebuilt.


Standing on the summit of Pingpo Hill, the Baozhudong (Cave of Precious Pearls) in Badachu (Eight Great Temples) occupies the highest point in all the Eight Great Temples. The temple's name comes from the cavern behind the main hall and stone, and the rock near its entrance resembles a large pearl.

The Zhengguosi (Temple of Buddhahood) in Badachu (Eight Great Temples), the oldest in the area, was first built in the Sui and Tang period more than 1,200 years ago. The Mysterious Devil's Cliff in the temple is quite famous. Four Chinese characters meaning "Natural Secluded Valley"  were engraved on the rock.

 

Eight Great Temples Tour

The Badachu became one of the protected cultural relic units of Beijing City in 1957. Many tourists would come here climbing mountain and watching the red leaves of the whole mountain at the Double Ninth Festival on the 9th day of the 9th lunar month of each lunar year.