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Shuanglin Temple

The Shuanglin Temple is a large Buddhist temple in Pingyao, in north-central China. The temple was formerly known as Zhongdu Temple and, during the Song Dynasty (960–1279), it was renamed as the Shuanglin Temple.

The temple covers an area of 1.5 hectares (3.7 acres). The exact age of the temple is unknown but, according to its reconstruction in 571, the Shuanglin Temple has a history of about 1,400 years.

  • Location: Qiaotou Village, Pingyao County,Shanxi Province
  • Chinese: 双林寺 Shuănglín Sì /shwung-lin srr/ 'Double-ForestTemple'
  • Popular activity: Annual Temple Fair on April 8th (lunar calendar)
  • Recognition: In 1997, it was added to the World Heritage List by UNESCO as an important cultural site of Pingyao Ancient City.
  • Time needed: 2 hours

Treasure-House of More Than 2,000 Colorful Sculptures

The One-Thousand-Hands AvalokitesvaraThe One-Thousand-Hands Avalokitesvara

The temple houses more than 2,000 colorful sculptures reflecting the exquisite skills of the artisans of the Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties (960–1912).

It has many halls and each one is decorated with splendid painted sculptures, wall sculptures, and clay sculptures.

The One-Thousand-Hands Avalokitesvara

The beautiful sculpture of the One-thousand-hands Avalokitesvara with its gentle expression, dignified appearance, lively detailing, and bright colors, is one of the highlights among the thousands of sculptures.

The One-thousand-hands Avalokitesvara was named Guanyin in Chinese. In Buddhism, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva has great powers and can help all sentient beings. People believe that following Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva can bring them good luck.


The Shaunglin TempleThe Shaunglin Temple

The main sculpture in the hall is of Sakyamuni. The vivid reliefs on the wall show the story of Sakyamuni.

Buddhism originated from the teachings of Sakyamuni (Siddhartha Gautama), who was born in Nepal about 2,500 years ago.

His whole life was spent trying to find a way to release people from suffering the cycle of birth and death.

Travel Essentials

  • It is open from 8:30am–6pm. During winter, it closes slightly earlier.
  • It is advisable to take a torch with you to see the sculptures clearly.
  • A knowledgeable guide is highly recommended for a better understanding of the sculptures.
  • How to get there: You can take bus 108fromPingyao Ancient City's train station to the Shuanglin Temple but it is highly recommended to go there by taxi.

Visiting the Shuanglin Temple with China Highlights

One sculpture in Shuanglin TempleOne sculpture in Shuanglin Temple

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