Guanlin Temple

Guanlin Temple
 More Guanlin Temple Pictures

Guanlin Temple, about seven kilometers (about 4.5 miles) south of Luoyang City, was built in 1596, during the reign of Emperor Wanli in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and was expanded in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). It is called General Guan's Tomb as well.

Guanlin Temple is the place where Guan Yu's head was buried. So, are you wondering about who Guan Yu is? He is a hero in Chinese history and is the only person respected by Confucians, Buddhists and Taoists. Guan Yu was a general of the Kingdom of Shu during the Three Kingdoms Period. After he was murdered by people of the Wu Kingdom, his head was sent to Cao Cao in order to frame Cao Cao and start a fight between the Shu Kingdom and the Wei Kingdom. However, Cao Cao discovered their plot. Due to his great respect for General Guan Yu, Cao Cao had Guan Yu's body carved from eaglewood and buried the carving and the head with great honors outside the South Gate of Luoyang City. Emperors of succeeding dynasties all revered Guan Yu a lot and even worshiped him as God of War. As a result, the temple in Luoyang is splendid and grandiose.

The statue of Guan Yu, Guanlin Temple
The statue of Guan Yu

The Guanlin Temple covers an area of 100 mu (about 16.5 acres). Inside the  temple are halls, tablets, small stone lions and cypress. The layout of the temple highly embodies the traditional style of Chinese architecture. It is designed and built symmetrically. Moving north from the Opera tower, there is the Main Gate, the Courtesy Gate, the First Hall, the Second Hall, the Third Gate, and the Tomb of Guan Yu. The First Hall is most magnificent. On its main gate are a series of reliefs telling the well-known stories of Guang Yu. The views from other halls and places inside the temple are also beautiful.

An art gallery was also built inside the temple, displaying a collection of nearly 2000 ancient steles, epitaphs and stone inscriptions. They are really helpful to the research of ancient Chinese history.

How to get to Guanlin Temple

Take bus no. 15/K15, 39/K39, 55/K55, 58/K58, 69 or K69 to Guanlinmiao (Guanlin Temple).

Entrance Fee CNY 40;
Free for children under 1.2m (3.9 feet).
Opening Hours 9:00 - 17:00; closed on Mondays.
Recommended Time for a Visit 1h

media recommendationfeatured on media