South Putuo Temple
Chinese name: 南普陀寺 (Nan Putuo Si)
Location: The South Putuo Temple is located inside the Xiamen city under the famous Wulao Peak (Wulao feng, 五老峰).
Opening time: 8:00-20:00
Entrance fee: Free of charge from April of 2011.
How to get to South Putuo Temple:
- By bus: Take line 45, 87, 17, 1, 18, 29, 47 buses to the temple. Tourist can get off at the University of Xiamen as it is next to the temple.
- Arrival by air: If your arrival in Xiamen by flight, turn left for about 200 meters after getting out of the airport, then find the No. 37 bus, taking the bus to the Xiamen train station then transfer to the No. 1, you can arrive the Xiamen University and Nan Putuo Temple.
Introduction of the South Putuo Temple:
The temple is the most famous temple in the southern part of Fujian province and it is also well known among all the Buddhist temples in China. The temple was firstly built in Ming dynasty of China among the year 1403 and 1424, it was destroyed in the war in the late Ming dynasty. As the main believe in the temple is the Avalokitesvara (she is a buddism godness named Guanyin) and the temple is located in the south of the Putuo hill of Zhoushan (one of the cities in southern part of Zhejiang province), it was named by South Putuo Temple.
The Nan Putuo Temple is of great scales, with over 25.8 hectares and the covered areas is over 21270 square kilometers. The temple is the holy place for the followers; you may find believers coming to the temple for praying in an endless stream all year around. The Thousand Hands Buddhist, the Carving of the Chinese Character of “佛” (means the Buddha), the Wulao Peak located at the back of the temple and the magnificent buildings makes the temple a great place than ever.
Main Building and attractions in the South Putuo Temple:
- Hall of the Celestial Kings (天王殿): It is also named Hall of the Maitreya, the Maitreya Buddha graciously smiling to everyone, falling his ears and shoulders down and exposing his navel and belly out, as he is welcoming every visitors of the temple.
- The Great Buddha’s Hall (大雄宝殿): The three main Buddha being worshiped inside represents the past, today and the future; the Sakyamuni (the founder of Buddhism) in the middle, the Bhaishajyaguru (the Medicine Buddha) in the east and the Amitabha in the west.
There are two Mahakasyapas beside the Sakyamuni, they are Kassapa Thera (the Big disciple of Sakyamuni) and Ananda (the younger male cousin of Sakyamuni). The Thousands Hands Guanyin is in front of the Sakyamuni. There is an old legend for this: An old woman raised three daughters and one day she was ill and need the eyes of the live people to make the medicine, only the youngest daughter was willing to do that while her two older sisters did nothing. The story moved Sakyamuni, therefore he created a thousands hands Guanyin to memory the little girl’s courage and put the Guanyin in front of himself.
- The Hall of Great Mercy (大悲殿): Thousands Hands Guanyin Buddha is consecrated in the Dabei Dian and 48 hands Guanyin Buddha are put in the other three directions inside the hall, the Buddha are holding many musical instruments in their eye-existing hands.
- The Depository of Buddhist Texts (藏经阁): It is a two floors building for documents and Buddhist texts. The downstairs of the hall was once the place for teaching Buddhism, with 28 Burmese Jade Buddha inside.
Cates inside the South Putuo Temple:
The cottage pudding of the South Putuo Temple was once awarded as one of 'the top snacks and food' in China. It is also the special local product in Xiamen. Sweet or salty, priced at only RMB 10yuan, tourist may have a great deal taking some of it home.
Temple or the restaurants near the temple is definitely the best dinning place for Buddhists or vegetarians, the South Putuo Vegetarian Menu may become your great choice after the visiting there.