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Why Jingci Temple is special ?
Jingci Temple was initially called Huiri Yongming Temple (慧日永明院). It was first built in AD 954 by Qian Hongji (钱弘俶) of Wuyue Dynasty for a famous monk Yongming Yanshou. In South Song Dynasty, its name was changed to Jingci Temple, and the "500 Luohan Hall" was built. The temple was destroyed and rebuilt several times in the history. The majority of present temple was built in 1980's. Specially, there is a newly forged copper bell, weighing over 100 Kilograms. On it is carved The Lotus Sutra (妙法莲花经), with 68,000 characters. It hosts one of Ten Scenes of West Lake, "Evening Bell Ringing at the Nanping Hill" (南屏晚钟).
What to explore at Jingci Temple?
Together with Lingyin Temple, it is called the jewel of the southern and northern hills. Nanping Wanzhong(南屏晚钟, the night bell ringing at the hill of Nanping) – Jingci Temple is the highlight of view of Nanping Wanzhong. The sound of bell in Jingci Temple is also historically famous just as the bell sound of Hanshan Temple in Suzhou.
At the sunset time, the sunglow gets declined, and the night view is indistinct, the poets or travelers feel blue when the sound bell spread abroad to refresh everybody. Due to many cavities and unique rock on Nanping Hill, the sound usually reverberates again and again, and could be spread to more than ten miles.
How to get to Jingci Temple?
Busses to get there: Take bus K4, 504, Y1, 2, 3, Holiday 5, or 7 and get off at Jingci Temple bus stop 净慈禅寺
- Quiet, worth visiting temple
- One of the better temples in China
- A very nice minor temple
- West Lake famous temple
- Its environment is quiet and relaxing
No.56 Nanshan Road, Xihu District, Hangzhou
Tips for you
I didn't plan to visit Jingci Temple, but when I got out of Leifang Pagoda, which is located south to the West Lake (really close to the lake - you can see the pagoda from almost everywhere when walking around the lake), I saw Jingci Temple right in front of me. It's right in front of the pagoda. The entrance fee is 10 RMB. I never heard of it before, never saw any review of it, but I said - why not try and see what it is? And it really is a nice temple. The buildings are beautiful and I thought it was worth the 10 RMB I payed. It's worth a look, especially if you just got out of Leifang Pagoda (you can also see the temple from the top of the pagoda. It's a big temple).