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White Horse Temple

inside White Horse Temple with peopleLocated at the 12 kilometers east of Luoyang city, the White Horse Temple is established by the Han Dynasty in 68 AD when Buddhism started to spread. It is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in China and is renowned as the cradle of Chinese Buddhism.

An interesting legend related to the temple goes that a white horse carried the first Buddhist script from India here in ancient time hence the name White Horse Temple. History records that the site was originally the place used by the second Han Emperor-Liu Zhuang as a summer resort and for study. In 68 AD, when Buddism reached its heyday in India, two Indian monks brought Buddhist scriptures to Luoyang on the back of a white horse. The emperor, who was a devout Buddhism believer, built White Horse Temple to house the scriptures and named it White Horse Temple. It was said that there were once thousands of monks living in the temple. It was even used as a refugee sanctuary during the social turmoil of Wang Mang in the Eastern Han Dynasty.

The two monks who brought scriptures from India were buried here. Many monks from outside China have visited the monk and many of them have spent the rest of their time in that temple. The famous Tang Dynasty monk-Xuanzang started his 17 years long pilgrimage trip to Indian from the temple. After returning, Xuanzang became the abbot of the White Horse Temple, where he disseminated the scriptures of Buddhism during the rest of his life.

Covering a total area of 40, 000 square meters, White Horse Temple mainly consists of Tianwang Hall, Great Buddha Hall, Daxiong Hall, Jieyin Hall, Qingliang Terrace and Pilu Pavilion, which are all distributing along the north-south central axis.


White Horse Temple Tour

Although it is not the largest nor the most beautiful Buddhism monument in China, White Horse Temple with its large number of Buddhism items, is well worth a trip during your tour to Luoyang.

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