Temple of the Eight Immortals, Xian Ba Xian An Taoist Temple

Chinese Name in Pinyin: Ba Xian An (Ba Xian Gong)

Baxianan Taoist Temple (aka Temple of the Eight Immortals) is located on the east side of the inner City Wall. It is the most completely preserved Taoist temple in Xian. Since its establishment in the Song Dynasty (960-1279), the temple was enlarged and repaired in many dynasties. Today, this temple rolls the functions of religion, culture, and tourism into one. The gentlest environment and rich cultural content of the temple attracted lots of domestic tourists and Taoist followers, and also some international tourists. On each first day and 15th day of the lunar month, the temple holds a temple fair.

  • Location: 12 Beihuo Lane, Changlefang, Xi’an City, Shaanxi Province.
  • Opening time: 08:00-17:00
  • Entrance Fee: CNY3 per person
  • Highlights: Largest Taoist temple in Xian, exquisite architecture, ancient stone carvings, murals, and inscriptions.
  • Time needed: 4-5 hours
Temple of the Eight Immortals in Xian
Temple of the Eight Immortals in Xian

History & Legend of the Temple

In Taoist culture, there are eight immortals. Taoist followers believe that the temple is the meeting place of Lv Dongbing and Zhong Hanli, two of the eight immortals. The name of Baxianan means Taoist Temple of the Eight Immortals. So the name of the temple reveals its importance in Taoists’ minds.

In 1900, when the Eight Power Allied Force invaded Beijing, the capital of China at that time, the Empress Dowager (the last real governor of the Qing Dynasty) and Emperor Guangxu abandoned the imperial palace (today’s Forbidden City) and seek refuge in Xian. During their stay in Xian, they donated an amount of money to restore the temple and bestowed it the honorary title “Wanshou Baxia Palace”. Since that time, Baxianan Temple became much more well known.

Layout and Main Architecture

Nowadays, the Temple of the Eight Immortals covers an area of 110 mu and has three main courtyards in total. At the entrance of the temple gate there are two brick memorial arches built in the late Qing Dynasty. And to each side of the inner gate there is Drum Tower and Bell Tower respectively. And in the main hall of the 3rd main courtyard, there is a tablet hanging on the door which says “Dong Tian Yun Ji”. These characters were written by the Empress Dowager.

All the eight immortals have their statues in the temple and are fended by Taoist followers. The halls most worthy of seeing are Lingguan Hall, Baxian Hall (Hall of the eight immortals), Douao Hall, Lvzu Hall, Yaowang Hall (Hall of Medicine Master), Qiuzu Hall (Hall of father of Taoism), etc.

Xian Baxianan Taoist Temple
Baxianan Taoist Temple

Temple Fairs at the Temple of the Eight Immortals

During the temple fair at the Temple of the Eight Immortals, followers of Taoism will gather here to reverence the immortals and demonstrate their deep respect for the natural order. Curious visitors can follow them to bow and make offerings, shed distractions, and draw closer to the sublime Dao.

On the first and fifteenth day of each lunar month, there are routine temple fairs held at Ba Xian An Temple. During the temple fair, thousands of devout followers and visitors will flood here to offer incense, pray for good luck, and immerse themselves in the bells and chimes.

The temple fair on April 14th-16th of lunar calendar each year is the largest and most interesting one at Xian Baxianan Temple.

Temple of the Eight Immortals
Temple of the Eight Immortals Baxianan Temple

Visit Street Markets at Baxian’an Temple

Baxianan Temple is worth your visit even if you are not a Taoist. Outside the temple, there’s a bustling market with shops and street stands selling Taoist offerings and related books. There are also stalls selling knick-knacks and curiosities. If you are good at bargains, it’s possible to buy several trinkets by spending no more than CNY 100.

The bustling street leading to the temple also offers a glimpse into another side of Xi’an. If you are seeking for more facts of Xian city, Baxianan Temple is definitely a highly recommended place.

 

How to Get to the Temple of the Eight Immortals

  • Take buses No. 139 and 20 to get to the temple directly.
  • Take buses No. 10, 11, 527, 228, 605, etc. to reach the Huadong Clothing Plaza station, then walk about 300 meters to get to the temple.
  • Take buses No. 709, 408, 240, etc., and get off at Santalu Station, then walk about 500 meters to reach the temple.

Attractions nearby