Xiyuan Temple - the largest temple in the city of Suzhou
Last Update: 15th October 2020
With an area of 49,670 square meters, Xiyuan Temple was originally built between 1264 and 1294. The existing buildings in the temple was rebuilt in the Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1912). It is a combination of gardens and Buddhist buildings in Suzhou
Xiyuan Temple Fast Facts
- Chinese Name: Xiyuansi (西园寺)
- Area: 49,670 x square meters
- Things to do there: Photography, Buddhism
- Who visits: Photographers, Buddhist Disciples
- Time required: 1 – 2 x hours
Chinese texts on the yellow wall in the garden introduce the history of the temple. The original drum and bell tower was destroyed in 1860 by war. The existing one was rebuilt in 2005.
Hall of Avalokitesvara stands east of the Hall of Heavenly Kings while the Hall of Five-hundred Arhats are the best highlight in the temple. It offers 500 gilded arhats statues in the Qing Dynasty. They have different gestures. The camphorwood statue of Thousand-Hand Kwan-yin in the hall has 1,000 hands each of which is carved with an eye in the palm. In the south of the hall is the statue of Buddha Jih and the statue of the wild monk is situated in the north of the hall.
It is also worth exploring the West Garden. The Free Life Pond is one of the highlights there. The pond is tadpole shaped. Head lies in the south while tail is in the north. The pond is home two old Rafetus swinhoeis in the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644). Unfortunately, one passed away in 2007. Huxin Pavilion stands at the heart of the pond. There is a smaller pavilion in the pavilion. Buddha Amitabha is worshiped in the east of the smaller one and Master Lianchi stands in the west.
The temple has a vegetarian restaurant for tourists. It just offers three types of noodles. If interested, you can have a try.
The best time to visit the temple is in the morning.
The best months to visit are from March to October.
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 6, 10, 11, 17, 40, Y1, or Bus Y3 to the Stop of Xiyuan (西园站). Then walk to the temple.
- Opening hours: 07:30 – 17:00
- As at 15th October 2020, the entrance pricing to the temple is 5 CNY per person; children under 1.2m tall (1.2m tall not included) are free of charge; For the latest pricing, please contact us via email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Please keep quiet in the temple.