Donglin Monastery

Donglin Monastery (East Forest Monastery) is seated at the northwestern foot of Mt. Lushan, about 16 km (10 miles) from Jiujiang City, Jiangxi Province. It was initially built in 384 A.D. in the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317-420) and developed in popularity through the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Later it suffered a lot of damage and has been renovated in recent years. Now, it receives a great many Buddhist disciples and visitors every day.

The monastery was built by Huiyuan, a famous monk of his time, who was also the originator of the Pure Land Sect of Buddhism (also named Lotus Sect). In the past centuries, the Pure Land Sect was widely spread by Huiyuan's followers. Some of its doctrines were even spread to Japan. Now in China, among the several Buddhists sects, the Pure Land Sect is worshipped by 80% of total Buddhist disciples. With the spread of the Pure Land Sect doctrines, the importance of Donglin Monastery has also grown.

The main halls of most Buddhist temples and monasteries are named Mahavira Hall, showing respect to the Great Buddha. Nevertheless, the main hall here is called 'Shenyun Hall' which means a hall bestowed by the Buddha. It was said that when Huiyuan arrived at the foot of Mt. Lushan, he didn't believe it was good to build a temple in the forest. One night in a dream, he was instructed by the Great Buddha and decided that it was in fact the right place. That night a violent wind rose and pulled up the trees. Thus not only a piece of land but also the wood needed was ready for the temple. To show thanks Huiyuan dedicated the name of the hall in honor of the Buddha.

Donglin Monastery is a place of stories. There are also stories about other structures in the temple, such as Sanxiao Hall. Even the springs behind the main hall and the stream in front of the temple gate have marvelous stories.

Tourists have the chance to share vegetarian food with monks in the temple. Entering the dining hall, men sit in lines on the right side and women on the left. The monks stand in two lines reciting the Buddhist scriptures, kowtowing toward the Buddha and playing religious music. Tourists must not make any noise when eating. If they want more food, they can draw circles in their bowl with their chopsticks and the monks will help them. When the dinner is finished, monks will chant scriptures again to request the Buddha bless the tourists. The entire process is sacred and solemn and provides tourists with a sense of the culture of the Buddhist religion.

Admission Fee: free
Transportation: take bus no. 2, 7, 13, 24, 101, 102, 103, 104, 105, 106 or 108 to get off at Shilidalou station. There tourists can take regular bus to the temple. 
- Last updated on Jun. 21, 2022 -
Questions & Answers on Donglin Monastery
Asked by Ringo Tan from SINGAPORE | Jul. 20, 2019 09:11Reply
Register for group Buddha chanting Donglin temple

I am a singaporean, speak little Chinese, I wish to go Donglin temple for group Buddha chanting, how do I enrol, know the schedule and travel over there.
Please advise.
Appreciated your help.
Answers (1)
Answered by Carl from USA | Jul. 23, 2019 19:07

You can take bus line Jinfeng/Jincao/Nanjin/Zhusong/Jinzhangwei to Jinshan Coach Station, then walk 400m to it. It opens from 8:30 to 16:30.
Asked by Mr.sean from SINGAPORE | Feb. 17, 2010 22:38Reply

anyone knows, besides China Southern, what other airlines are available for flight from guangzhou to jiujiang? Because not everyday there is flight (no daily flight) from guangzhou to jiujiang for China Southern?

which is more convinient in terms of public transportation and distance (1) from jiujiang to Donglin or (2) nanchang to Donglin?

Answers (1)
Answered by Mr.kevin | Feb. 21, 2010 20:57

Please check Mr.Chen Lang’s replies. He has already said it was more easy to get to Donglin Monastery from Jiujiang. As for details, please read his replies.
Asked by Mr.Chen Lang from INDIA | Feb. 02, 2010 11:33Reply
I wanna Go to Donglin Monastery I am In jiujiang. i Speak Little Chinese Wat is the Most easy Way To go. Safe?
Is There a Bus Route. ??
Answers (4)
Answered by Mr.Kevin | Feb. 02, 2010 22:07

Hi Mr Chen,

Where do you live? If you are in downtown area or near the Jiujiang Railway Station, you can chart a taxi. It costs around CNY 35. If you chart a taxi from Lushan Railway Station, you may spend around CNY 25.
Answered by Mr.chen lang from INDIA | Feb. 06, 2010 17:32

Hmm I am From jiujiag university .., I am Going today..taking the Help of a chinese Friend :)
anyways Thanx For ur Suggestion :)
cheers Dude..
Answered by Mr.Chen lang from INDIA | Feb. 07, 2010 21:22

Waw This Place is Really Touching.. and I Really Didn't wanna Come Back :)
But Since there was Very Little Transportation after 6 pm oUr Team Had to fallback..
It was the Most Beautiful Journey in ma Life's Journey after Lushan :)
Answered by Mr.Chen Lang from INDIA | Feb. 07, 2010 21:30

Hmm i wanna add to Transportation Buddies.. As already said its More easy If u Reach Jiujiang First.
Then If u Know the Things Take a Bus [105 or 101]to Shili..U can C A KFC There :) From tht KFC u gotta Move Few Yards Left Were u Ask for the Bus to [donglin Monastery] It Cost u 3 Rmb.. :)

Ans as said u can Take Taxi also .. [More easy To Foreigners ]
It Cost u 28-39 Depending on the Places u start From in jiujiang :)
and Don't In the Monastery Don't Forget to ask for Astrology. :)
[Its a Place For Many To Worship So Don't Forget To Behave Urself :)
Respect Ones Feelings cheers..
Asked by Mr.sean from SINGAPORE | Dec. 27, 2009 23:41Reply
I am planning a trip to Donglin Monastery and most likely will be taking a flight from Singapore to Guangzhou International Airport first. I wonder anyone knows on how to go to that monastery from guangzhou airport? thanks in advance.
Answers (1)
Answered by Mr.Hugh | Dec. 28, 2009 22:28

As I know, Donglin Monastery is in Jiujiang City of Jiangxi Province. Why donot you buy flight ticket from Singapore to Jiujiang or say nearby cities like Nanchang?
Ask a Question
Question Summary (100 characters)
Details (optional) (2,000 characters)