Hanshan Temple (Cold Mountain Temple)

Have you ever heard of the poem A Night Mooring Near Maple Bridge written by Zhang Ji, a poet of the Tang Dynasty (618-907)? In this poem, Zhang described the midnight bell rings of the Hanshan Temple. Since then, the temple has become famous, especially for its bell rings and Buddhism culture.

Hanshan Temple is situated three miles (about five kilometers) from Fengqiao Old Town in Suzhou ( Video of Maple Bridge/ Fengqiao). It is said that in the Tang Dynasty, a famous monk Han Shan came to take charge of the temple, hence its name. The temple was originally constructed during the Liang Dynasty (502-557) and was repaired several times in the following dynasties. Now, covering an area of about three acres (about 10,600 square meters), it presents the architectural style of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). It includes the Grand Prayer Hall, Sutra-Collection Building, Bell Tower, Fengjiang Pavilion and Tablets Corridor, etc. In 1995, a five-storey Buddhism pagoda as high as 138 feet (about 42 meters) was erected called Puming Pagoda, which then became the symbolic building of the temple. There are many more historical relics in the temple, such as the statue of Han Shan, the stone tablet inscription of the poem A Night Mooring Near Maple Bridge and some other tablet inscriptions written by famous intellectuals of ancient China.

Grand Prayer Hall of Hanshan Temple
Grand Prayer Hall of the Temple
Bell in Hanshan Temple
  More Pictures

Being one of the most famous temples in Chinese history, Hanshan Temple often boasts about its bell rings. However, the best known bell described in Zhang Ji's poem disappeared a long time ago. The bell in the tower now, was modeled on the previous one in 1904. Every year on New Year's Eve, the bell is tolled for 108 times to pray for the happiness and safety of the coming New Year. After the ceremony, visitors can write their New Year wishes on the prayer wall and enjoy a fantasitc show. This festival attracts thousands of tourists both at home and abroad.

Hanshan Temple is also a Buddhism temple. The statue of the Buddhist patriarch Sakyamuni is there for people to make offerings to in the Grand Prayer Hall. In the Hongfa Hall, there are bronze statues of three eminent monks: Xuan Zang (a Tang Dynasty monk and translator), Jian Zhen (a Tang Dynasty monk who once went to preach Buddhism in Japan) and Kong Hai. Kong Hai was a Japanese monk who studied Buddhism in China in the ninth century. He once visited Hanshan Temple when he stayed in China and after he returned to Japan, he started to preach Buddhism in his country. Until now, the temple is one of the most important places to hold Buddhism activities.

Stone Tablet
Stone Tablet with a Poem
Puming Pagoda
Puming Pagoda
Making Prays
Making Prays in the Hall
Around the temple, you can also enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Maple Bridge, where Zhang Ji's boat was once moored, and get a realistic feel of the ordinary life of the people living in the Fengqiao Old Town. You can also have a look at the famous Jinghang Grand Canal, which is the longest ancient man-made canal in the world.
 

Transportation

1. Take bus no. 30, 31, 33, 40, 44, 300, 301, 307, 313, 324, 332, 406, 415, 442, 622, 816, 932 or tourist bus no. 3 and get off at Hanshansi South Station.
2. Take bus no. 9, 10, 30, 45, 306, 931 or 935 and get off at Laifengqiao Station.
Suzhou Bus Search
 
Admission Fee CNY 20
Opening Hours 07:30 - 17:00 (Tickets are sold before 16:30)

 Note: The admission ticket on the New Year’s Eve is CNY 320 per person, when a grand “Bell Chime Listening” ceremony is held in the temple. The activity takes place from 18:00 on December 31th to 01:00 on January 1st of the next year. During the activity, lots of entertainment shows related to Buddhism are performed and visitors can strike the bell themselves after the ceremony.
- Last modified on Jul. 28, 2017 -
Questions & Answers on Hanshan Temple
Asked by Adrien from CANADA | Nov. 29, 2016 13:55Reply
How long is the bus ride from Suzhou to Hanshan Temple please?
Is it on a mountain where you need to walk up to get to it? And is there a teahouse and are snacks available there?
Thank you!
Answers (1)
Answered by Jenny from USA | Nov. 30, 2016 02:58
20Reply


Hi, dear! The temple is located at the downtown area. Many buses can take you to the temple, such as bus line 30, 31, 33, 40, 9002, Haoxing 2, Haoxing 6, and Haoxing 7. The duration varies according to your starting point.

It is not on a mountain. You needn't climb up to it. There are many teahouses and snacks available. :)
Asked by nancy from SINGAPORE | Nov. 21, 2015 04:57Reply
how to get to hanshan temple from suzhou bullet railway station?
I am going to the city from grand central hotel shanghai by bullet train. How to get to the temple? How much is the cab fare?
Answers (1)
Answered by Amir from GERMANY | Nov. 22, 2015 01:13
11Reply


So you will go from Shanghai Station to SZ Station, right? Well, walk to the south square of the railway station and take Tourist Bus Line 3 to get off at Laifeng Bridge. Then the distance to the temple is around 850yd. Ask the locals about the right directions then.
Asked by Mr.Eddy from HONG KONG | Apr. 16, 2011 02:19Reply
how can i go to Hanshan temple from Kunshan railway??? how long is the journey??
Answers (1)
Answered by Mr.Jack | Apr. 16, 2011 02:55
24Reply


You have to take a train from Kunshan to Suzhou first, then take bus 33 or 44 to get there.
Asked by Ms.teddy from SINGAPORE | Feb. 23, 2011 19:26Reply
Any souvenir that can be purchased at hanshan temple?
Answers (1)
Answered by Mr.Bruce | Feb. 24, 2011 22:17
25Reply


I think you can buy some silk products or paitings at the souvenir shop outside.
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