West Garden Temple
West Garden Temple (Xiyuan Temple) covering an area of 1.6 acres (about 10 mu) in Suzhou was constructed in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) and features sacred temples and classical gardens. Also called Jiechuanglv (commandment as its doctrine) Temple, West Garden Temple is the largest temple in Suzhou City which blends garden art and temple art harmoniously. Here, you can see the ancient trees flourish, the temple houses layer upon layer, the winding river, the green grass, hear the birds singing and smell the fragrant flowers. What a splendid spectacle it is!
Now let's come to the scenic spots located on the middle axis line of West Garden Temple. From south to north along the line are Arches (Paifang) of three rooms, Mountain Gate, Jingang (Buddha's guarding warriors) Temple, Fangsheng Pond, Daxiong (grand) Palace, and Sutra Collection Pavilion. When you come out of the Jingang Temple, you can find Arhat Temple on your left and Kwan-yin Temple on your right.
In the center of the Arhat Temple there is a sculpture of Kwan-yin 43 feet (about 13 meters) high carved by fragrant camphor timber, which has thousands of eyes and hands. The main focus in the temple must be a peculiar figure of Buddha beside the Kwan-yin who has four faces said to represent the four famous mountains of Buddhism: Mt. Jiuhua in Anhui, Mt. Emei in Sichuan, Mt. Putuo in Zhejiang and Mt. Wutai in Shanxi. In addition, inside the Arhat Temple there are two well-known sculptures called 'Mad Monk' and 'Jigong Monk' whose words and deeds are also praised by people though they are not the traditional arhats and hence got the name of the 'Live Arhats'. The Arhat Temple with five hundred arhats is the only one in southeastern littoral area.
Since 1949, West Garden Temple has been expanded several times with governmental financial support and Buddhists' donations. Now it has refurbished the former styles and features and many new scenic spots have been added to live up to its fame 'The Holy Land of Buddhist Altar'.
2. Take bus no. 34, 311, 317, 400, 441, 949 or tourist bus no. 5 and get off at Xiyuan East Station.
3. Take bus no. 40, 816, 933 or tourist bus no. 3 and get off at Xiyuan Road East Station.
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|Admission Fee||CNY 25|
|Opening Time||7:30 - 17:30|
Recommended Nearby Attractions
Shantang Street (Seven-Li Shantang)