Wenshu Temple in Chengdu

After visiting more than my fair share of Chinese temples over the past five years I have become somewhat jaded to write about yet another (as one might become with churches in Europe also). They usually have the same layouts containing similarly styled statues which makes them a bit predictable but nevertheless good places for spending a relaxing hour or so.

Doorway to Hiddeen Courtyard

Wenshu Temple (文殊院) in Chengdu is a fairly typical large Buddhist monastery which dates back to the Tang dynasty and is named after a monk who lived there in the late 17th century. There are five central buildings containing various cultural relics which are surrounded by extensive well-maintained gardens.

Monk in Motion

Contained within the monastery are reputedly over 400 statues made of stone, iron, bronze, clay and wood, in various shapes and sizes. Among its most precious relics, one can find the skull of Xuanzang (玄奘) – a revered Chinese Buddhist monk from Tang Dynasty.

Red Candle
Golden Robes

I quite fancy the contemplative lifestyle of a monk and find comfort in being around other bald people!

Beast Head

It is said that rubbing this creature’s head will bring you wealth – just don’t forget to wash your hands afterwards.

Two Old Ladies

The grannies of Chengdu are particularly fashionable – nice trousers and fetching waistcoat!

Kneeling in Reverence
Prayer Bell

Peering under a large hanging bell I noticed people had stuck notes with prayers written on them inside. I’m not sure of the significance of this but I guess symbolically they might be more likely to be heard.

Empty Walkway
Secluded Spot
Red Wall

I enjoy poking my nose around corners into restricted areas although this can sometimes ruin the illusion.

Wenshu Temple
Temple Elephant
Green Archway

There are a teahouse and vegetarian restaurant in the gardens where you can get a healthy meal (Buddhists don’t eat meat) or just sit and contemplate the tranquil surroundings.

Gentlemans Walk

The temple is situated north of the central square on Renmin Zhong and the entrance fee is only 5 RMB so it’s well worth the visit if you’re passing through Chengdu.

David avatar

2 responses

  1. Medha .N. avatar
    Medha .N.

    I love structures with upturned corners…any buddhist temples with upturned corners in Guangzhou??

    1. Hi Medha – I think the Chen Family Temple in Guangzhou may have some (http://www.flickr.com/photos/randomwire/4377617003/)


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