Lingyin Temple is a Buddhist temple of the Chan sect located north-west of Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, People’s Republic of China.Lingyin Temple(Temple of Soul’s Retreat) is the oldest, the most famous and influential buddhist monastery in Southeastern China.Lingyin Temple is Chinese famous Buddhist monastery of Buddhism welcomed and believed by innumerous Buddhism believers. In their mind, Lingyin Temple is their shrine and the place to talk spiritually to Bodhisattva and Buddha.
Lingyin Temple located at the northwest riverfront of the West Lake in Hangzhou, and generally, it is considered to be a part of the West Lake Scenic Area, which is the extremely famous and popular tourist attraction in China, even in the Far-East Area. Exactly, Lingyin Temple is situated in the Lingyin Mountain between Fei Lai Feng (Peak Flown From Afar) and Bei Gao Feng(Peak of North Highness). The main attractions of Lingyin Temple is Klippe, klippe in geology is a limestone. There are a lot of strange stone, there are many old trees.The most magical is, klippe cave in cliffs, carved from the Five Dynasties to the song and Yuan period, more than 470 statues of stone carvings. The carving is very beautiful, although after many years, some carving is not clear, but look carefully, you will see the beauty of sculpture.Traditionally, Lingyin Temple as well as the area around Lingyin Temple are all the perfect tourist destinations for leisure, reading, study and self-meditation, thanks to its old and lofty trees, tranquil and deep mountains, ancient Buddhist temples as well as the varied clouds and mist. Lingyin Temple in China is considered to be one of the wealthiest monasteries, and the top one in Jiangnan region. Today’s Lingyin Temple serves as the place for tourism and pilgrims.
History and Culture of Hangzhou Lingyin Temple
Reliably Speaking, Lingyin Temple was built in326 when Southern China was in the reign of East Jin Dynasty. Up to today, the history of Lingyin Temple has been more than 1600 years. Lingyin Temple becomes the earliest Buddhist Temple in Hangzhou. Its name origins have been mentioned above. During the reign of Wuyue Kingdom (907-978), when China was separately under the administration of five Dynasties and roughly ten kingdoms, the King Qian Chu(钱俶) was a worshipper of Buddhism. Lingyin Temple with his help developed quickly, which was mainly embodied in the extension of buildings—there were 9 towers, 18 pavilions, 72 halls and more than 3000 monks in Lingyin Temple.
During Northern Song Dynasty, some scholars ranked buddhist temples of Jiangnan region, and Lingyin Temple was ranked first as the Top Zen Buddhist Temple. At the time, China had a list of Buddhist Temple named Wushan Shilin( Five Buddhist Mountains and Five Buddhist Forests), and Lingyin Temple was ranked the top of it. Lingyin Temple indeed has the surroundings of retreat, which is in harmony with its name. The whole temple was deeply surrounded diversity of peaks and forests. Fei Lai Feng and Cold Spring are the fantastic attractions around Lingyin Temple.
During the southward visit of Emperor Kangxi of Qing Dynasty, he was quite attracted by the gorgeous surroundings of Bei Gao Feng and joyfully inscribed the tablet for Lingyin Temple. But there was an interesting story. It was said that Emperor Kangxi made a mistake which embarrassed him a lot when him did not handle the layout of his handwritings well. The traditional Chinese of Ling. The upper part of the character is another independent character, rain, and the middle part is three in line and the bottom was also a character, wizard. Generally, traditional character of Ling is comprised of three parts. But he was too happy to care more about the whole structure of the character and wrote the Yu quite large, which did harm to the whole writing of Ling. He was troubled but could not tell followers. He considered for a minute. In a flash, he brought to mind that the surroundings of Lingyin Temple, especially the area of Bei Gao Feng always appeared the large scale of mist and covered the whole temple. He got an idea and added a character Yun( Cloud) below Yu, and imperially named Lingyin Temple Yun Lin Chan Si(Cloud-Forest Zen Monastery). Today’s huge tablet written by Emperor Kangxi is in front of Hall of the Heavenly Kings. However, the local people still preferred to call it Lingyin Temple.
Having experienced thousands of years, Lingyin Temple still kept well. During the period of Northern Expedition (1926-1927), The 31st Team’s Colonel Xu Tujing under the leadership of Warlord Wu Peifu(吴佩孚) burnt down this time-honored temple rebuilt in the reign of Emperor Taizong of Tang Dynasty just for getting illegally a quite treasured legacy—-Ancient Crock of Sheng Tian Tang, which was an ancient big crock originally used for immortality of Monk Bibo, the first governor of Lingyin Temple.