Wofo Temple (Temple of Recumbent Buddha)

Wofo Temple, literally the Temple of Recumbent Buddha, is located inside Beijing Botanical Garden, about 12 miles (20 kilometers) from the city center. It is one of the famous ancient Buddhist temples in Beijing.

Wofo Temple was built during the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907) and has a history of more than 1,300 years. It received repairs during the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties. There is a bronze recumbent Buddha inside Wofo Temple, which is how it got the name.

The main buildings are: Four Heavenly King's Hall, Three Buddhas Hall and the Recumbent Buddha's Hall.

The Recumbent Buddha's Hall is the most important hall in Wofo Temple. The present hall is the one built in the Jin Dynasty (1115 - 1234). It underwent further construction during the Yuan Dynasty (1271 - 1368). The recumbent Buddha inside the Hall is a statue of Sakyamuni made in 1321, 5.3 meters (17.4 feet) in length and 54 tons in weight. Sakyamuni's left hand touches his leg and his right hand supports his head. It was said that this pose is that of Sakyamuni when he got nirvana. 'Nirvana' means the ineffable ultimate in which one has attained disinterested wisdom and compassion in Buddhism. This bronze recumbent Buddha is the biggest bronze recumbent Buddha in present China. Around this Buddha are twelve other figures of Buddhas. This group of statues of Buddhas reflects the scene that Sakyamuni tells his disciples what to do after his nirvana. All twelve Buddhas appear to be grieving. The recumbent Buddha is perfectly kept and reflects the high iron-melting techniques in the Yuan Dynasty.

Sacrifices have been offered to three Buddhas inside the Three Buddhas Hall: Burning Lamp Buddha, Sakyamuni and Maitreya. On both sides of the three Buddhas are 18 colored clay-made Arhats. One of them is very special because he wears his clothes just like the human beings who live on earth. However, he is a false Arhat. Real Arhats who live in God's place wear special dresses. A legend said that this false Arhat is Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911).

Inside the Four Heavenly King's Hall, a sitting statue of Maitreya is offering sacrifice in the middle area. Four heavenly kings are on the two sides of Maitreya to bless the stability of the country and the happiness of the common people.

In front of the Three Buddhas Hall is an ancient tree, which was said to be transplanted from India and symbolizes how Sakyamuni got nirvana.

To its west, there is a peony garden of an area of more than 2.5 acres (1 hectare). More than 2,000 peonies are planted here. Also, there is a bamboo garden outside.

Transportation:

 By Subway:
1. Take Subway Line 4 and get off at Beigongmen Station. Get out from Exit A and transfer to bus 331, 563, or Yuntong 112 and get off at Wofo Si (Wofo Temple) Station.
2. Take Subway Line 1 and get off at Pingguoyuan Station. Get out from Exit C and transfer to bus Yuntong 112 and get off at Wofo Si Station.
 By Bus:
1. Take bus 331, 505, 563, or Yuntong 112 and get off at Wofo Si Station.
2. Take bus 318, 360, 630, or 698 and get off at Zhiwuyuan (Botanical Garden) Station.
 Beijing Bus / Subway Search

Admission Fee: CNY 5; free for children under 3.9 feet (1.2m).
Visitors also need to buy the Botanical Garden ticket, which is CNY 5 and free for children under 3.9 feet.
Opening Hours: Apr. 1 - Nov. 15: 08:30 to 16:30
Nov. 16 - Mar. 31: 08:30 to 16:00
Recommended Time for a Visit: 40 minutes

Neighboring Attractions:
 Liang Qichao's Grave  
 China Bee Museum
 Cherry Valley
 Cao Xueqin Memorial Hall
 Temple of Azure Clouds