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Kaifeng Daxiangguo Temple

 Kaifeng Attractions

Shanhaiguan Great Wall

Introduction to Kaifeng Daxiangguo Temple (开封大相国寺)

Daxiangguo Temple was first built in 555 AD during Qi Dynasty with new buildings added in 1661 and 1766. There were two times of reconstruction in 1661 and 1766 during Qing Dynasty. The first built Daxiangguo Temple in Northern Qi Dynasty was called Jian Guo Temple at that time. However, It was ruined in the wars.

In the first year of Chang'an of Tang Dynasty,a monk called Huiyun arrived in Kaifeng who said that there were evidences of anima here. Then he began to begged and collected money to buy lands and build the temple. After the temple was built,the name board of Jian Guo Temple of Northern Qi Dynasty was dug out.So the temple continued to be named Jian Guo Temple.

During the first year of Yanhe in Tang Dynasty ,Emperor Ruizong Li Dan named Jian Guo Temple to Xiang Guo Temple in order to memorized that he became emperor.

As a royal temple, the entire complex has 64 temples. Among them three main halls are of the greatest interest. The main buildings are Tian Wang Dian (Hall of the Celestial Kings), Ba Jiao Liu Li Hall (a hall with eight angles and roof made of colored glaze), Da Xiong Bao Dian (the Great Buddha's Hall), Phra Mondop (depositary of Buddhist sutra) and so on.

The large rectangular Tathagata Hall (Daxiongbaodian) is where monks perform daily chanting rituals in front of three huge Buddhas. The hall is solemnly built, with carved beams and painted rafters. The Great Buddha's Hall is rounded with bluestone banister, on which tens of lively and vivid little lions are carved. There often are some exhibitions of cultural and historical relics and works of art for there is no statues of the gods or Buddha now.

The octagonal Arhat Hall (Luohandian) features upturned eaves and painted roof beams. In this hall there is a breathtakingly gorgeous four-sided golden Avalokitesavara which is said to be carved from a single tree over 50 years. She has six main arms, one set holding aloft a Buddha and 1000 other arms radiating outward with an eye in each palm. 

The rear Tripitaka Hall has two floors, the upper holding sutras and the lower a white Burmese jade Buddha in the Burmese style.

   
Shanhaiguan Great Wall

Location

No.36, West Free Road, Gulou District, Kaifeng City, Kaifeng, Henan

   
Shanhaiguan Great Wall

Main Sights

Mountain Gate, Bell and Drum Towers, Paifang, Heavenly Kings Hall, Daxiongbaodian Hall, Arhat Hall and Sutra Hall, Octagonal Hall of Avalokitesvara

   
Shanhaiguan Great Wall 

Travel Information

Opening Hours: 8:00am~6:30pm

Admission Fee: 45 yuan

Visiting Time: 1~2 hours

Best Time to Visit: February to May (the bustling Lantern Festival will be held by Daxiangguo Temple early in the Lunar New Year), September to November(chrysanthemum exhibitions and the great prayer festival of water and land)

   
Shanhaiguan Great Wall

Transportation 

Take bus 5, 8, 9, 16, 19, 20, 23 from Kaifeng downtown to get there.

   
Shanhaiguan Great Wall

Travel Tips 

1. Daxiangguo Temple is also famous for its Buddhist music which has been listed in the national nonmaterial cultural heritage list.

2. Daxiangguo Temple will hold performances showed by professional monk performance team on major Chinese holidays.


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