Daming Temple is a historical site renowned for its natural beauty, and the Buddhist rites that have been performed there since its construction in the Southern Dynasty (457-464).
It is one of the national key temples in the Han nationality and hosts the Jianzhen Memorial, which was built in 1973 to commemorate Jianzhen, an accomplished monk who lived during the Tang Dynasty (618–907).
Besides its structural beauty, this temple is considered an important cultural attraction in China. Each year before the New Year eve, a lot of people visit the Daming Temple to burn joss sticks. However, most people go there to worship Buddha.
The temple also receives some Japanese tourists who come to ring the bell as a prayer for happiness and safety. You can also buy souvenirs from the souvenir shop located within the temple.
With regard to beauty, the palaces and pavilions are also well integrated and arranged in structure and are a main attraction. The temple also has a number of archways and halls with interesting architecture.
On entering the temple gate, there is a stately archway which was built in memory of the old Qing Tower.
The Hall of Heavenly Kings is located behind the archway. It hosts a big-stomached and smiling Maitreya Buddha.
Besides the Jianzhen Memorial and the Jianzhen stature that sits on the main hall of the memorial, which is itself a main attraction. At the center of the Main Hall stands the statue of Sakyamuni. At both sides sits eighteen arhats.
The main focus of the temple is Mahavira Hall, which is dedicated to the Great Buddha, Sakyamuni whose figure sits at the center of the hall and surrounded by other 18 gods responsible for good harvest and peaceful life.
The rest of the area contains the Scripture Repository with structures dating back to Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
The Pingshan Hall, which is also a major attraction, was built by a literary giant called Ouyang Xiu during the song dynasty.
The temple hosts a beautiful tower called Qiiling Tower from where you can have a good raised scenic view of the temple at 70 meters (230 feet) above the ground.
The Monk Jianzhen Memorial Hall is also considered of importance in the exchange of cultures between Japan and China. His preaching of Budhism is said to have led to cultural changes in Japan. People come there to learn about his life.
Other attractions to the site include a decorated archway known as Pailou, the Sutra Hall, Ouyang Xiu Hall. In the garden area are pools, elegant pavilions, trees, flowers, false hills.
It is named so because it was constructed during the Daming reign of the Southern Dynasty (457-464), and since then, it has been renamed severally.
It was renamed Xiling Temple because of the Xiling (Soul Living) Pagoda that was set inside it. The pagoda was used to enshrine Buddhist relics. It also came to be known as the West Temple as it stood west of the Sui Empire's palace and was given the name Fajing in 1765 during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) by the Emperor Qianlong.
It became one of the Yangzhou City's top eight biggest temples during the Qing Dynasty. The city is itself 2500 years old. After failing five times to cross into Japan to introduce Buddhist doctrines, Jianzhen succeeded during the Tang Dynasty. Jianzhen Memorial, a memorial designed by a famous architectural designer of China, Liang Sicheng, was set up to commemorate him. Jianzhen stature was also enshrined in the Main Hall of the memorial. It later became one of the Han national temples in 1983.