The land of dynasty, trade and a rich cultural heritage, China is one of those countries that has so much to offer travellers.
Aside from the country boasting the biggest population in the world, its vast landscape, delicious food and incredible architecture attracts millions of visitors each year.
The list of destination recommendations is endless. From seeing the Great Wall of China, to visiting the pandas in Chengdu, it’s one place you’re sure to take away some solid memories.
With a rich cultural heritage and a strong belief in Buddhism, China has many awesome temples that offer a place of worship as well as a work of art for holidaymakers.
6 awe-inspiring temples to visit in China
White Horse Temple
According to tradition, White Horse Temple was the first Buddhist temple in China. It was built in 68 AD and has remained intact for more than 1900 years!
The temple is located about 7 miles away from the city of Luoyang in Henan province.
Inside the temple’s gates are the Hall of Heavenly Kings, Hall of the Great Buddha, Hall of Mahavira, Hall of Guidance and the Cool and Clear Terrace. Each of these halls appear in the order as they were when first built.
It’s hard to miss the White Horse Temple, as it’s covered with green ancient trees, and not forgetting the pool with fences around and lovely fish in the water. The recommended time to visit is 1 hour, and opening times are 7.30am to 5.30pm.
Lingyin Temple is one of the largest and richest Buddhist temples in the country, and contains many pagodas and Buddhist grottos. You can find this temple in the north-west of Hangzhou in the Zhejiang Province.
The temple isn’t only one of the most famous Buddhist temples of China, it’s also the largest of several in Hangzhou’s Wulin Mountains. From the scenery and landscape, it’s not surprising that Lingyin attracts millions of tourists each year.
Located in Fufeng County of Shaanxi Province, Famen Temple has a history of over 1,700 years.
In 2009 the Shaanxi government finished building a much larger complex in addition to the Famen Temple. With an area of 150 acres, the new Famen Temple Cultural Scenic Area added 150 acres to the temple complex.
The Famen Temple Cultural Scenic Area has 4 sectors: The Temple Gate Square, Foguang Avenue, Famen Temple, and the Namaste Dagoba. The scenic area is known as the ‘number 2 cultural symbol of Shaanxi’, second only to the famous Terracotta Army.
Translated as the ‘Palace of Peace and Harmony’, the Yonghe Temple is a temple and monastery located in the Dongcheng District of Beijing. If you study, or are a fan of Chinese architecture, you’ll see that the artwork is a combination of Han Chinese and Tibetan styles.
An interesting fact about the Yonghe Temple is that it’s arranged along a north-south central axis. This axis is 480 metres in length, where its main gate is at the southern end.
Along the axis, there are 5 main halls which are separated by courtyards. They include the Hall of the Heavenly Kings, the Hall of Harmony and Peace, and the Hall of Everlasting Protection.
Jade Buddha Temple
This stunning temple in western Shanghai, is a combination of the Pure Land and Chan traditions of Mahayana Buddhism.
History states that in 1882, an old temple was built to keep 2 jade Buddha statues originally brought by a Burmese monk.
When the Qing Dynasty was overthrown, the temple was destroyed. However, the statues were saved and a new temple was built in 1928. It was named the Jade Buddha Temple.
The Grand Hall has many striking gold statues such as the Three Golden Buddhas, Gods of the Twenty Heavens, and 18 Arhats.
Giant Wild Goose Pagoda
Built in 652 AD during the Tang dynasty, the wonderfully named Giant Wild Goose Pagoda is located in the southern suburb of Xi’an City in the Shaanxi Province.
This well-preserved ancient building is a holy place for Buddhists as well as for architecture lovers.
The scenic area includes the Big Wild Goose Pagoda, the Da ci'en Temple, plus the many squares and gardens in the surrounding area. Its simple yet appealing architectural style attracts visitors in their droves.