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Hanshan Temple

Hanshan Temple became famous due to a famous poem written by the Tang Poet Zhangji: "Beyond the Suzhou walls, the Temple of Cold Mountain tolled its bell, which broken the midnight stillThe Gate of Cold Mountain Temple and signalled the arrival of a gust's boat." This temple was built in 502, sitting on the bank of the Grand Canal between Maple Bridge and River Village Bridge.

It is said that in the Zhenguan Reign of the Tang Dynasty, two famous monks Hanshan and Shide came here from Tiantai Mountain to conduct prayer services, hence the name of the temple Cold Mountain Temple. During its long history, Hanshan Temple was destoryed by fire and it was rebuilt in the last years of the Qing Dynasty.

Hanshan Temple has the Grand Prayer Hall, Sutra-Collection Building, Bell Tower, Fengjiang Pavilion and Tablets Corridor, etc. A five-storey Buddhism pagoda with a height of 42 meters (about 138 feet) named Puming Pagoda was erected in the temple, which became the symbol of the temple.

Cold Mountain TempleBesides, the Cold Mountain houses statues in its halls. In the Grand Prayer Hall sits the statue of the Buddhist patriarch Sakyamuni. And in the Hongfa Hall stands the bronze statues of three eminent monks: Xuan Zang, a Tang Dynasty monk and translator; Jian Zhen, a Tang Dynasty monk who once went to preach Buddhism in Japan; and Kong Hai, a Japanese monk who studied Buddhism in China in the ninth century. He once visited Hanshan Temple when he stayed in China and after he returned to Japan, he started to preach Buddhism in his country.


Hanshan Temple Tour

Now, Hanshan Temple is still one of the most important places to hold Buddhism activities. On the New Year's Eve, visitors flock to the temple to hear the tolling of the bell by the temple's abbot, and attend a night of carnival celebrations.