Hua (Flower) Pagoda
Originally built in 537, it has been rebuilt several times, and the name has also been changed several times from Changshou Temple (meaning Longevity Temple) to Jinghui Temple and finally the current name. It is a name given by the great liiterateur Su Dongpo in the Song Dynasty (960 - 1279). It is said that he visited there while returning to the north. During the visit, he found six banyan trees there particularly striking. The vitality of the trees put him in a good mood and cheered him up. When the abbot of the monastery invited him to suggest a name, Su Dongpo wrote down its present name. Finally, its former name (Jinghui Temple) was changed to the present one, Temple of the Six Banyan Trees. A pagoda inside is known variously as Six Banyan Pagoda or Flowery Pagoda.
After entering by the mountain gate, the Tianwang Hall is the first hall you will see. The Laughing Buddha is there with smile all over his face to welcome visitors. Behind it is the Weituo Hall. According to legend, Weituo was a general who recaptured the Buddhist relics which had been stolen. He keeps a straight face, looking very serious and frightful, in distinct contrast with the Laughing Buddha.
The architecture that catches the visitors' eyes most is the Six Banyan Pagoda. It is a pagoda where Buddhist relics are placed. Its roofs curve upwards and look like dark red flower petals. The tip of the pagoda is like stamens, while the whole construction looks like a huge stigma high in the air. Therefore, people like to call it the Flowery Pagoda. The pagoda not only has a nice appearance, but also provides visitors a good place to overlook enchanting scenery around.
Burning joss sticks is a big event when visiting there. Thus every year on the Chinese traditional Spring Festival and Lantern Festival, this place becomes a busy area. Numerous people queue to burn the first joss stick in order to be blessed by gods in the coming year.
|Admission Fee:||CNY 5 (the temple); CNY 10 (Six Banyan Pagoda)|
|Opening Hours:||08:30 to 17:00|
|Recommended Time for a Visit:||One hour|
Take Subway Line 1 or Subway Line 2 to Gongyuanqian Station and get out from Exit B. Walk five minutes and it can be reached.