Hanshan Temple - one of the landmarks in Suzhou
Last Update: 14th October 2020
Covering an area of 1.3 hectares, the Hanshan Temple offers a floor area of around 3,400 square meters. Originally built between 627 and 649, it had been unfortunately destroyed by fire for five times in history. The existing temple was rebuilt between 1871 and 1908.
Hanshan Temple Fast Facts
- Chinese Name: Hanshansi (寒山寺)
- Area: 1.3 hectares
- Things to do there: Photography, History and Culture, Buddhism
- Who visits: Photographers, History and Culture Lovers, Buddhist Believers
- Time required: 1 – 2 x hours
What to expect at the Hanshan Temple
The Hanshan Temple has a variety of old steles and stone statues to explore. The poem stele depicting the temple itself is one of the highlights there. If you understand Chinese, you may be amazed at the connotation of the poem.
The gate of the temple is guarded by one old camphor tree on either side. Buildings in the temple has the Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1912) style. On the terrace in the main hall is a bronze Ding the facade of which is carved with Chinese characters of “一本正经” which means seriousness in English
Xumizuo in the hall is built by white marbles. The statue of the Buddha is worshiped on the Xumizuo. Statue of arhats cast between 1465 and 1487 are well preserved in the hall as well.
The ridge of Hanshi Hall in the Depository of Buddhist Scriptures is carved with the sculptures of Tang Priest and his three disciples in the Journey to the West. In addition, 27 steles of Diamant-Sutra by Zhang Jizhi (1186 – 1263), a calligrapher in the Southern Song Dynasty (1127 – 1279) in the left and right walls reflect the long history of the temple. What’s more, more than 10 steles by other celebrities in the ancient China are situated in the hall.
The bell tower is well-known for the bronze bell weighing 108 tons. It is around 8.5 meters tall. Some 69,800 characters of Saddharmapundarika-sutra. The bell was cast in 1906. The Flower Basket Building is just supported by two pillars. The spiral staircase is also just supported by one column.
Best time to visit the Hanshan Temple
If you’d like to enjoy a quiet environment, the best time to visit the Hanshan Temple is in the early morning.
The best months to visit are from April to October.
How to get to Hanshan Temple
A few buses pass by the temple. Thus, there are just a few options.
- Rent a vehicle to the temple. This is the quickest and most direct opion.
- Take Bus 31, 33 or Bus 300 to the Stop of Hanshansinan (寒山寺南站). Then walk to the temple.
Additional Hanshan Temple Travel Advice
- Opening hours: 08:00 – 16:30
- As at 14th October 2020, the entrance pricing to the garden is 20 CNY per person; children between 1.2m tall (1.2m tall included) and 1.4m tall (1.4m tall not included) are charged 10 CNY per person; the elder between 60 years old (60 years old included) and 70 years old (70 years old not included) are charged 10 CNY per person; the elder above 70 years old (70 years old included) and children under 1.2m tall (1.2m tall not included) are free of charge; For the latest pricing, please contact us via email (email@example.com)
- Please present your passports at the gate of the temple.
- If interested, you can enjoy the vegetarian dish in the temple. As at 7th January 2020, the entrance pricing to the garden is 18 CNY per person at all ages.