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Temple of Great Charity

the gate of Guangjisi with stone lionsThe Guangjisi (Temple of Great Charity) situated in Xicheng District is one of the best-known Buddhist temples in Beijing. Originally being the Xiliucun Temple of the Jin Dynasty, Guangjisi was rebuilt during the reign of Ming Emperor Tianshun(1457-1 464), and renamed Hongciguangjisi (Temple of Wide Mercy and Great Charity). The layout has been kept despite several renovations and expansions ever since.

 

Temple of Great Charity

Covering 23, 000 square meters, Guangjisi has a symmetrical layout with courtyards well arranged. Like most Buddhist temples in China, main buildings including Tianwangdian (Hall of Heavenly Kings), Daxiongbaodian (Shrine of Greatness and Magnificence), Yuantongdian (Hall of Accommodating Tact), Duobaodian (Treasures Hall) and Cangjingge (Sutra Pavilion) are placed on the north, south axis.

Enshrined in the DaxiOnabaOdian are the statues of Buddhas of the Three Ages-Kasyapa, Sakyamuni and Maitreya, as well as the bronze statues of 1 8 arhats, all being Ming Dynasty relics. Inside the Yuantongdian are 11 fine, carved bronze statues of the Goddess of Mercy. The Cangjingge is located in the fourth courtyard. It was also called the Sarita Tower because it was believed that the teeth relics of the Buddha had been once stored here. The Duobaodian downstairs is a treasure house of Buddhist relics and crafts. Enshrined in the middle of the hall are the Ming-Dynasty statues of the three bodies of Sakyamuni. Many precious gifts presented by foreign Buddhist believers are showcased in the hall. Guangjisi also preserves lots of rare relics, including the bronze statue of the sitting Maitreya built in the Ming Dynasty, the bronze vessel with patterns of eight sacred Buddhist symbols of the Qing Dynasty, ancient Buddhist paintings, and so on.

 

Temple of Great Charity Tour

The Guangjisi now houses the China Buddhist Association, and it is also the seat of the China Buddhist Culture Institute and the editorial department of The Voice of Dharma magazine. During the tour to Guangjisi, travelers could get a deep understanding about Buddhist Culture.