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Temple of Vast Succour (Guangji Temple)

Temple of Vast Succour, Beijing
The Main Gate
Located on Inner Fuchengmen Street, in the Xicheng District, it is one of the most famous Buddhist temples in China. It is now the headquarters of the Chinese Buddhism Association, and the center to conduct national Buddhist activities.

Originally built in the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234), additions were made to it by successive dynasties. The present was completed during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the original structure having undergone three expansions, three fires, and three reconstructions. It now covers an area of 5.766 acres. The major structures are the main gate, the Heavenly King Hall, Mahavira Hall, Yuantong Hall (or Buddhisattva Hall) and Sutra Hall.

The Main Gate includes three arched doors, joined to each other by connecting walls. Each door is adorned with colored glazed eaves and accompanied by a stele. Passing through the gate, visitors will see the Bell Tower and the Drum Tower, and will find themselves facing the middle Heavenly King Hall. Inside the Hall, the bronze statue of the Maitreya Buddha is sitting in the dominant place, guarded by the four Heavenly Kings. On the roof of the hall is a Wheel of Dharma, designed to suggest the infinite power of Buddha.

In the second courtyard is the Mahavira Hall. In front of the hall is a bronze vessel that was made in 1793, during the reign of Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). This fine vessel is 2 meters (6.56 feet) high, cast with the eight treasures of Buddhism -"the wheel, spiral shell, umbrella, canopy, flower, vase, fish, and knot". Inside the hall are statues of Buddha and 18 arhats (Buddhist practitioners said to have special powers). Across their backs is a painting by an artist of the Qing Dynasty. The painting, 5 meters (16.4 feet) high and 10 meters (32.8 feet) wide, is a great artwork, as the artist has painted it with his fingers rather than a brush pen.

The Yuantong Hall in the third courtyard is the residence of Buddhisattva.

The two-storied Sutra Hall of the fourth yard houses the collection of sutras and treasures. It is filled with curiosities that have been given as gifts by friendly Buddhists of other states, and over 100,000 volumes of sutras. Amongst these, the sutras written in blood from the Song (960-1279) and Ming Dynasties are especially precious.
Beijing Temple of Vast Succour
The Heavenly King Hall
Daxiongbaodian of the Temple of Vast Succour
The Mahavira Hall
In addition to this is the Xilu Fane, a forum (Jietan) made of white marble where Buddhists used to receive precepts. Along with the Jietan Hall, it is one of the oldest constructions in it.
Admission Fee: Free
Opening Hours: 08:40 to 17:30
Recommended Time for a Visit: One and a half hours
Subway: Subway Line 4: get off at Xisi Station , get out of the station from Exit A (northwest station) , and walk northwest.
Bus Route: Take bus no.623, 685, 42, 102, 13, 604, 603 and get off at Xisi Lu Kou Xi (Xisi Crossing West) Station
 Beijing Bus / Subway Search

Neighboring Attractions:
 Geological Museum of China
 Gangwashi Church
 Temple of Ancient Monarchs
 Beihai Park
 Lu Xun Museum