Introduction to Baoguo Temple (保国寺)
Baoguo Temple is a Mahayana Buddhist temple which is located in Jiangbei district, 15 kilometers north of Ningbo, in Zhejiang Province. It is noted as the oldest wooden structure in existence in southern China.
The temple was originally called Lingshan Temple (灵山寺). In 845 CE, Lingshan Temple was destroyed. When Xizong Emperor of Tang Dynasty went into reign, there were several peasant revolts and droughts. A monk named Kegong left for Changan (today Xi’an, capital of Tang Dynasty) to ask for rebuilding the temple. In 880 CE, during the Tang Dynasty, Emperor Xizong renamed it to Baoguo Temple, meaning to protect the country. The main hall was rebuilt in 1013 CE, during the Northern Song dynasty. The temple also contains columns dating to the Tang Dynasty, a hall built during the Ming Dynasty, and two halls and towers of the Qing Dynasty.
Located at the foot of Lingshan Mountain, Baoguo Temple is 15 kilometers away from downtown Ningbo. With more than 970 years of history, it is China's oldest and most complete wooden structure south of the Yangtze River. On both sides, there are is bell and drum tower that connects to the other buildings. Baoguo Temple's Grand Hall (大殿), in the history of Chinese architecture, holds much historical, artistic and scientific value. The Grand Hall's construction is full of clever designs; it employs the use of girders, pillars, columns, and corbel brackets.
Most impressively, the hall was built without a single nail used. And all of the components fit together that it can support the full weight of the 50-ton roof. With the beautiful location, the preservation of the ancient site and the expert craftsmanship of the Grand Hall, it is no wonder that Baoguo Temple is listed as a national cultural relic protected spot.
Anshang Village, Jiangbei District, Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, China
Grand Hall, Depositary of Buddhist Texts, Guanyin Hall, Drum Tower, Bell Tower
Admission for Baoguo Temple: 20 Yuan
Opening Hours: 8:30AM~4:30PM
1. The temple can be accessed by Bus No.332, 338 from Ningbo city. The ride takes approximately 35 minutes.
1. Recommended duration for a visit is about 2 to 3 hours.
2. It is not recommended to visit there during “May 1st” and “October 1st” these two golden vacation weeks. At that time, the hotel reservation and transportation will be in its climax, the price will be much higher than ordinary times.
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