Baoguang Temple

Baoguang Temple stands at the northern suburb of Chengdu, Sichuan Province, about 18km (11 miles) from downtown. It is a tranquil Buddhist temple with splendid structures. Surrounded by verdant trees, it comprises a stupa, five halls, and sixteen courtyards, which are arranged in a symmetrical way. Baoguang Temple gains much popularity in Chengdu because locals believe that their wishes will come true after praying in the temple.

Walk across a square you will see a screen wall facing the gate of the temple. It is inscribed with a big Chinese character meaning 'good fortune'. One popular activity in Baoguang temple is touching the inscription. Visitors have to close their eyes, walk directly to the wall, and touch the word with their hands. Those who can do this smoothly are believed to have a good fortune this year. So don't be surprised at the sight of the long queue in front of the screen wall. People are just waiting for touching the character to embark upon an auspicious year.

Baoguang Stupa

Continue walking and you will see a leaning stupa in Baoguang Temple, which is elaborate and magnificent. It is a thirteen-storey quadrangle stupa built in the Tang Dynasty (618- 907). All sides of each storey are decorated with three Buddha sculptures and each corner hangs a bell. The stupa slightly leans westward, thus being acclaimed as the 'Leaning Tower of China'. Thirteen Buddha's remains are kept in the stupa.

Arhat Hall

Arhat Hall, located to the east of the central axis, is one of the four famous arhat halls in China. Another three are in Beijing Biyun Tempe, Suzhou West Garden Temple and Wuhan Guiyuan Temple. The hall houses 577 sculptures. 500 are arhats and the rest are Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Each statue in Arhat Hall has a unique posture and expression. You can never find two same arhat statues here. Since they are distributed in a shape of '田', it is easy to get lost. These arhat statues are built over a course of nine years by the famous engraver Li Guangxiu and his disciples and are great treasures of the temple.

Arhat Hall is considered as the most popular attraction in the Baoguang Temple because of an interesting activity called Counting Arhats. Following is about how it works. Pick one arhat randomly, and start walking and counting. Men start from the left and women start from the right. You cannot stop until you count the numbers of your age. Then the expression of this arhat will tell you how things will go in this year.

When in Rome, do as the Romans do. So when in Baoguang Temple, you have to behave as required. Firstly, you'd better take your hat off in the temple. Next, photographing is not allowed. Last but not least, you should avoid pointing at the Buddhas because it is regarded as disrespectful.

How to get to Baoguang Temple

1. From downtown Chengdu, take bus 651 and get off at Baoguangsi (Baoguang Temple) Station.
2. Take a bullet train from Chengdu East Railway Station to Xindu East Station within 15 minutes, and then casch bus x44a, x44b or k9 to Baoguang Dadao Zhongduan, which is about 500 meters (550 yards) southwest to the temple; or take a bus from East Railway Station Bus Station to Xindu District first, and then take bus X04, X08, X10, X13, or X47 to Baoguangsi.
Chengdu Bus / Metro Search
Entrance Fee CNY 5
Opening Hours 8:00 - 17:00
Recommended Time for a Visit Two hours
- Last updated on Jul. 26, 2019 -
Ask a Question
Question Summary (100 characters)
Details (optional) (2,000 characters)