Originally, the temple was called the Zhongdu Temple but it was renamed Shuanglin during the Song Dynasty (960-1127). In Chinese, Shuang means two or double, and Lin, forest. The temple got its name from a Buddhist story. According to the Buddhist sutra, Sakyamuni who was the founder of Buddhism, entered nirvana under two trees; Hence, its name Shuanglin.
Reconstructed in 571, the Shuanglin Temple has a history of about 1,400 years. It consists of ten large and small halls, and the sutra chanting hall and the monks' rooms. The ten halls include the Heavenly Kings' Hall, the Arhats' Hall, the Mahavira Hall (Da Xiong Bao Dian), and the One-Thousand Buddha Hall, the Sakyamuni Hall, the Bodhisattva Hall, the Ti-tsang Bodhisattva Hall, the Guan Yu's Hall and two other halls. Guan Yu was a famous general of Shu during the Period of Three Kingdoms. Later, he would be worshipped as a god.
In the middle of the Arhats' Hall is the sculpture of Kwan-yin with eighteen arhats standing to the left and right. The facial expressions of these arhats differ from each other. With one drunken arhat, another sick, yet another as a dwarf while others fat and thin, they all exemplify the ancient artisans' excellent skills. The mute arhat is the most famous. His face is exaggerated with his eyebrows frowned and lips sealed. It seems that he has seen much unfairness in the world but can not express this to others.
In the One-thousand Buddha Hall is enshrined Kwan-yin sitting on the pedestal with her right leg bent and left one stepping on a lotus leaf. The Veda in the hall is reputed to be the best in China and well worth exploring. There are also about 500 sculptures of Bodhisattva in different carriages.
|Admission Fee:||CNY 40 per person|
|Opening Hours:||8:00 - 19:00|
|Recommended Time for a Visit:||1 to 2 hours|
Recommended tour with the visit to the Shuanglin Temple:
Tour of Pingyao Ancient Town: 3 Days Visit of Pingyao popular attractions
More Pingyao Tours