Guangren Temple

Guangren Lama Temple, Xi'an
 Guangren Temple Pictures
Guangren Temple, located in the north-west City Wall of Xi'an, is the only Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Shaanxi Province. Built in 1705 when the Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) patrolled to Shaanxi, this temple was a Xanadu for the Grand Lama of the Northwest and Tibet when he passed through Shaanxi along the road to Beijing to meet with the emperor. It is a witness to Tibetan and Han nationality's cultural communication and national solidification.

Guangren Temple was first rebuilt in 1952. After that, its main architecture, including the Mahavira Hall, the Sutras Keeping Hall and the Bodhisattva Hall among others, were brand new. In 1983, it was cited as a National Key Buddhist Monastery in the Han nationality region by the State Council. Guangren Lama Temple has underwent extensive repairs again in 2006 and expanded to the large scale that it is at present.

The whole temple covers an area of 1.3 hectares (3 acres). When you go into it, the main architectural features fall into place from south to north as follows: the Mountain Gate, the Devajara Hall, the Mahavira Hall, the One Thousand Buddha Hall and the Sutra Keeping Hall, while on both sides there are flanking halls, wing-rooms and cross-yards.

The original Mountain Gate had already been destroyed before the reconstruction. Carved with beams and beautiful paintings, the new gate looks magnificent. As the entrance door is closed, visitors should enter the temple from the small eastern wicket. Inside the Mountain Gate, there is a Zhao Bi (a stone wall) engraved with the embossments of Buddha and the eighteen arhats. It is a grandiose brick-carved piece of architecture. Round across the Zhao Bi, you will see a tall hexagonal pavilion with an imperial stele of 'The Guangren Temple Stele Erected under the Imperial Order' written by Emperor Kangxi who erected it. There are wells with stone rails on both sides of the stele.
Tsong-kha-pa Statue
Tsong-kha-pa Statue
Tibetan Stupas in Guangren Lama Temple
Tibetan Stupas
Go out of the pavilion and you will come to the Devajara Hall in which a statue of Thousand-Hand Avalokitesvara on the lotus throne (the supreme one in Shaanxi Province) was placed there after the reconstruction. It shimmers from gilding all over the body. The hall is surrounded by a lot of gilded rotational sutra barrels outside. At the back of the  Devajara Hall, there is a courtyard in which lies an Eight Diagrams. It can be infused with 54 kilograms of kerosene at a time so that it is lit day and night. Thus it is called 'Ten Thousand Year Lamp'. Then you will see Mahavira Hall behind the lighthouse. Three Buddha statues are worshipped in the Mahavira Hall with the Green Tara statue standing in the middle. On its left is the statue of Manjusri and on its right is the statue of Samantabhadra. It is said that all of them were passed down from Tang Dynasty.
A hall for worshipping Thousand-Hand Boddhisattva
A hall for worshipping
Thousand-Hand Boddhisattva

Continue to the rear part, you will find the One Thousand Buddhas Hall which was built in 2006. The statue of the Tsong Khapa who founded Gelugpa (a sect of Tibetan Buddhism) is worshipped here. In front of this hall, there is a marble lotus which came down from the Emperor Qianlong period in the Qing Dynasty. Then the Sutras Keeping Hall will come into view when you go out of the One Thousand Buddhas Hall. The reproduction statue of the 12-year-old Buddha Sakyamuni is bestowed in the middle while the statue of Prince Wencheng (a prince who was ordered to marry a minority chieftain in Tang Dynasty) is on the left. There are many precious sutras in Sutras Keeping Hall, especially the Qing version of 'Tibetan Ganzhuer Sutra'  in 108 volumes and the Ming versions of 'The Heart of Prajna Paraminta Sutra' in 6,600 volumes. There are flanking halls and wing-rooms on both sides of the Mahavira Hall and the Sutras Keeping Hall. The statues of Sykyamuni, Pharma-kaya and medicine's three seniors (three very important medicine men) lie in the east flanking hall while the four-arm Avalokitesvara, Maitreya Buddha and Saghirima are worshipped in the west flanking hall.

Eight Treasures in the Temple

1. 'The Guangren Temple Stele Erected under the Imperial Order' written by Emperor Kangxi.
2. The original stone sculpture of 'The Guangren Temple Stele Erected under the Imperial Order'.
3. The Ming versions of 'The Heart of Prajna Paraminta Sutra' in 6,600 volumes.
4. The marble lotus vat bestowed by Emperor Qianlong.
5. The lotus throne of the Tang Dynasty for the statue of 12-year-old Buddha Sakyamuni.
6. A pair of nanmu dragon lanterns awarded by the Empress Dowager Cixi.
7. A sandalwood throne of the Qing Dynasty in the Grand Hall.
8. A hand-engraved gold Manda from Nepal.

Six Horizontal Tablets in the Temple

1. 'The Guangren Temple' inscribed by Emperor Kangxi.
2. 'Royal Graciousness for Western China' by Emperor Kangxi.
Thousand-Hand Boddhisattva
Thousand-Hand Boddhisattva

3. 'Holy Land of Buddhism' by Emperor Qianlong.
4. 'Solemn Dharma-character' by Empress Dowager Cixi.
5. 'Majestic Temple' by Kang Youwei, a great philosopher and scholar of the Qing Dynasty.
6. 'The Guangren Temple' by Zhao Puchu, the former president of the Buddhist Association of China.

Six Rare Trees in the Temple

1. The 'Clothes-Hanging Cypress'
2. The 300-year-old 'Cuilan Cypress'
3. A 100-year-old 'Double-leaved Cypress' (also named Unity Tree and Harmony Tree)
4. Two 100-year-old redbud trees
5. The 100-year-old clove tree.
6. Two 'sensitive trees'

How to Get to Guangren Temple

 By Bus:
Take bus No. 175 and get off at Guangrensi (Guangren Temple) Station. Walk towards north for around 100 meters (109 yards). Then turn west and walk along Xiwuyuan Road to find the temple.

 By Metro:
Take Metro Line 1 and get off at Yuxiangmen Station. Get out from Exit D. Walk east along Lianhu Road  for around thre minutes and then turn north and walk for around 5 minutes to reach.
Xi'an Bus / Metro Search
Admission Fee Free
Opening Hours 08:00-17:30
Note: Children under 1.2 m (3.9 ft) can enter for free.
Other Buddhist Temples in Xi'an:

- Last updated on Sep. 20, 2023 by Gabby Li -
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