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.


 By Subway:
Take line 10 to Bagou Station, transfer to Western Suburban Line and get off at National Botanical Garden.
 By Bus:
Take bus 318, 360, 505, 563, 698 or 932 to National 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 ticket of north garden of Botanical Garden, which is CNY 5 and free for children under 1.2m (3.9 ft).
Opening Hours: Mar. 16 - Nov. 15: 8:00 - 17:30 (Stop enterinng at 17:00)
Nov. 16 - Mar. 15: 8:30 - 17:00 (Stop enterinng at 16:30)
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

- Last updated on Jul. 19, 2023 by Gabby Li -
Questions & Answers on Wofo Temple
Asked by Henry Ho from INDONESIA | Dec. 09, 2015 01:46Reply
How long to Wofo Temple from Beijing Botanical Garden? Can by walking? Thanks
Answers (3)
Answered by Linda from CANADA | Dec. 09, 2015 03:31

Maybe it's a long way to walk. The distance between these two places is about 2 miles (3 kilometers). So you are suggested to take a taxi directly. The cab fare is about CNY 13. It takes about 5 minutes.
Answered by Henry Ho from INDONESIA | Dec. 09, 2015 06:24

Ok, thanks. When we want to continue to Fragrant Hill Park, how should we do?
Answered by Lisa from USA | Dec. 09, 2015 20:03

Oh, this Temple is just located inside the Botanical Garden. You can just walk to there directly and I remember it is closer to the south gate.

After touring around, you can take bus no.563 to get to the East Gate of Fragrant Hill Park Bus Stop. Then walk southwest around 530 yards (480 meters) to arrive at the scenic area.
Asked by Mrs.Aziera from MALAYSIA | Jan. 27, 2009 21:58Reply
I'm planning to have a trip to Beijing this year for second honeymoon. What is the best season if we plan to shop & enjoy the view? Is it the best to go in October?
Answers (4)
Answered by Mr.dandan from CHINA | Mar. 12, 2009 01:52

I think September is the best choice, the goldern week is in september, and there are so many people that all you see is almost people, and the traffic is very crowed, while in Sep, the weather is comfortable, and no raining, the sun is beautiful, I think you will have a good time and enjoy yourself
Answered by Ms.Kelly from MALAYSIA | Apr. 12, 2009 03:49

Hi Dandan, do you mean we better avoid those golden weeks of China?
Answered by Mrs.wu from CHINA | Apr. 16, 2009 22:08

Yes, you'd better avoid the golden week as so many people will be here
Answered by Mr.Seth from USA | Apr. 19, 2009 12:30

I agree with Mr dandan about September. In October, it is before city heat comes on and should it be chilly, your hotel will also be chilly. I never remember the date, but heat comes on in late October and goes off in mid-March. September is also a nice time to wander around in Botanical Garden. It is quite large and you can practically spend a day there. Taxi from around Olympic area is approx 55RMB each way. Many people even take a picnic with them to have a meal and see the views and all the various plants and flowers. If you add the walk in the temple and the greenhouse full of tropicals, total admission is about 50-55RMB. That was as of summer 2008, so probably similar still. I think garden alone is maybe 10RMB, so an inexpensive way to visit.
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