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Kaiyuan Temple – The Largest Buddhist Temple of Fujian

Kaiyuan Temple is a famous Buddhist temple standing in the heart of Quanzhou, China. It is the largest temple / monastery in Fujian Province as well as one of the oldest and most well-preserved temples in the city. An iconic landmark of Quanzhou, Kaiyuan Temple is regarded as a symbol of Quanzhou’s maritime culture and trade in history.

One thing to note is that Quanzhou’s Kaiyuan Temple is not to be mistaken with the Kaiyuan Temple in Chaozhou, Guangdong.

Quick Facts of Kaiyuan Temple 

  • Location: No. 176 West Street, Licheng District in Quanzhou city, China.
  • Opening hours: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM daily
  • Tickets: free
  • Recommended visit time: about 2 or 3 hours
  • Best time to visit: any time of the year
  • Suited to: Families, couples, solo travelers, or anyone interested in history, culture, or religion
Quanzhou Kaiyuan Temple
Kaiyuan Temple

History and Overview of Kaiyuan Temple

Kaiyuan Temple, China was built in year 685 during Tang Dynasty, which means it already has a history of over 1300 years.

It was first built by a wealthy man named Huang Shougong, who dreamt that a lotus flower bloomed on a mulberry tree. He built the temple on a mulberry field and named it Lotus Temple. The temple was renamed several times since then and was finally named after the Kaiyuan reign of Tang Dynasty in 739.

Kaiyuan Temple, Quanzhou has an area of 93,287 square yards (78,000 square meters). Apart from its size, its architecture is also one of the most impressive among temples in China. It’s a must-visit attraction for your Quanzhou tour.

What to See and Do at Kaiyuan Temple

Kaiyuan Temple has a number of halls, palaces, and towers. Here are some of the highlights of the structure.

Daxiong Palace

Daxiong Palace, also known as the Hall of Purple Clouds, is the main structure in the temple complex. There are 86 great stone pillars holding up the building, so it is often referred to as the Hall with A Hundred Pillars. The Buddha figures and intricate carvings of the building are amazing to see.

The Two Towers

The two pagodas stand on each side of the main hall of Kaiyuan Temple. The east tower is called Zhen Guo Tower and the west tower Ren Shou Tower. The twin towers are both over 130 feet (40 meters) tall, making them the tallest pair of stone towers in China. They have been through many typhoons and a strong earthquake and still remain standing.

The Temple’s Architecture

Take a leisurely stroll and admire the intricate carvings, figures, decorations, wooden designs around the temple. You’ll find a blend of Chinese and foreign architectural styles.

 

Quanzhou Kaiyuan Temple
Admire the architecture of Kaiyuan Temple

Best Time to Visit Kaiyuan Temple

Although you can visit Kaiyuan Temple all year round, the best months to travel to Quanzhou are generally April to June or September to November. The weather is mild during these months and there are usually fewer crowds compared to tourist season in July and August.

Attractions Nearby Kaiyuan Temple

  • Laojun Rock is the largest Taoism stone sculpture in China. The statue is over 16 feet (5 meters) tall. It’s an important cultural relic of China.
  • Quanzhou Maritime Museumshowcases the city’s maritime history and culture as a major trading hub. Quanzhou was once a thriving port city along the ancient Maritime Silk Road. You’ll find various ship models, ships and many cultural relics uncovered from excavations.
  • Qingjing Mosqueliterally means the pure and clean mosque in Chinese. It is the oldest existing Islamic Mosque with an Arabic architectural style in the region.

Getting to Kaiyuan Temple

Kaiyuan Temple is easily accessible by public transportation. If you take a taxi, it’s about a 30-minute drive from Quanzhou Railway Station and 40 minutes from Quanzhou Jinjiang International Airport. Or you can take bus No. 002, 006, 014, or 601 to get there.

Recommended Tours to Quanzhou

 

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