Last Update: 15th October 2020
With an area of 25.8 hectares, South Putuo Temple (Nanputuo Temple) was originally built in the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907). Facing the sea, it is situated at the foot of Wulaofeng Mountain, near Xiamen University.
- Chinese Name: Nanputousi (南普陀寺)
- Area: 25.8 x hectares
- Things to do there: Photography, Buddhism, Architecture
- Who visits: Photographers, Buddhist Disciples, Architects
- Time required: 1 – 2 x hours
South Putuo Temple (Nanputuo Temple) offers ancient-palace-style buildings with double eaves and cornices. Tiles used are green. All the buildings are in Southern Fujian style.
The main hall, center of the temple, was built in 1925. It is a wooden structure with exquisite carvings on doors and windows, reflecting the traditional building craft in the Southern Fujian. Two white towers guard the hall. On either side of the hall is Arhat Hall. In the middle of the hall are the large statues of Sakyamuni, Bhaisajyaguru and Amitabha.
Originally built in the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644) and rebuilt in 1930, Dabei Hall is the place to worship Guanyin. In the front is Guanyin Buddha just with two arms while on the other three sides are Guanyin with 48 arms. The middle caisson ceiling is made of the stacked brackets.
Heavenly Kings Hall is guarded by two big stone lions on either side. Enter the hall and you’ll see the four Heavenly Kings on two sides look around angrily. In the middle is the Maitreya.
Depositary of Buddhist Texts is a 2-layer structure. The ground floor works as a preaching hall. The first floor is Jade Buddha Hall with the function of preserving the precious Buddhist texts. 28 jade Buddha and ceramic whiteware Guanyin are also well preserved on the floor.
The temple is home to Buddhist College of Minnan closed to the public. At lunch, you’ll see tens of students in monk robe going for lunch. It is said that vegetable dishes in the temple restaurant are delicious.
The top of Wulaofeng Mountain is a great spot to enjoy the panoramic views of Xiamen City. On the mountain, you’ll find a cave where Buddha is worshiped.
If you’d like to visit the South Putuo Temple for photography purposes, the best time to visit is at sunrise and sunset.
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 option.
- Take Bus 1, 7, 15, 21, 45, 841 or Bus 959 to the Stop of Xiada (厦大站) or Stop of Xiada Nanmen (厦大南门站). Then walk to the temple.
- Opening hours: 03:00 – 18:00
- As at 15th October 2020, tourists can visit the temple for free.
- Please wear comfortable hiking shoes.