Guanyin Chan Temple
Chinese Name in Pinyin: Guan Yin Chan Si
Guanyin Chan Temple locates in Zhongnan Hill which is 30km south to Xian City. The temple was built in the early Tang Dynasty (618-907). Neighboring Fengyu and Gaoguanyu ( 2 little valleys of Qingling Mountain Ranges), the temple boasts the quite nice scenery.
To west of Guanyin Chan Temple is Caotang Temple, the womb of Three Sastras School of Buddhism, to east of the temple there is Jingye Temple, the origin place of Vinaya School of Buddhism. Behind the temple is Chanling Hill, and to south of the temple is Guanyin Hill. In ancient time Guanyin Chan Temple is the first temple leading to Guanyin Hill.
Before the establishment of New China, Guanyin Chan Temple covers an area of over 300mu and has its own land and farming tools. At that time the temple has its own main hall and tens of monk dormitories. During the Chinese Culture Revolution in 1960s, the temple was used as school and was named Hongyan Middle School. And all the monks escaped the temple. Only 5 main halls survived from the transformation. All the other rooms was used as classrooms. Till 1990s the temple was till used as school. Later with the freedom of religion policy carrying out, Hongyan Middle School moved out of the temple. In 1999, local government approved the temple as legal spot for Buddhist activities. Since that time, Guanyin Chan Temple came to a vibrant new period. In 2001 the temple built a main hall in which statues of major Budhisattvas are kept and fended. And in the later years several other architectures and monk dormitories were built. Since the current abbot of the temple take over the temple, the temple are further arranged. Under his effort, the environment was bettered, roads were paved with bricks, temple walls and buildings were strengthened, Meditation was organized more frequently, and scheduled Buddhist gathering was held.
Compared with these temples in city area, Guanyin Chan Temple owns better natural environment. Having Zhongnan Hill as background, the temple has larger courtyard and standing in the temple, in will get a wider view. Once approaching the temple, one will be effected the surrounding environment firstly, forgetting all the worries and being completely relaxed. The Tang Dynasty poem “As I pick chrysanthemums beneath the eastern fence, my eyes fall leisurely on the Southern Mountain” is the best description about this leisurely and plainly environment.
Behind the Guanyin Hall (Hall of Avalokiteshvara) stands a ginkgo tree. The tree is 2o+ meters high and has a diameter of 3+ meters. At the foot of the old tree there are hundreds of plantlets. It is said this ginkgo tree was plant in the Tang Dynasty which means the tree is about 1400 years old now. Nowadays the tree is still flourishing. Each year in late autumn the 1400 years old ginkgo tree will treat people with an amazing picture: the fallen folium ginkgo covers the whole ground under the crown of the tree, which seems much like the ground was covered with golden quilt. That ginkgo tree is also a highlight attraction of the temple in autumn. Due to its relatively further distance to city area, very few tourists come here for sightseeing. So if one comes here, he will see more monks and Buddhist followers than tourist.
Opening time: all day
Entrance Fee: Free
Public transportation: Taxi or hire a car from local travel company