Xiantong Temple, Wutaishan, Shanxi
(August 27, 2012)

(1) The unimpressive outer gate of Xiantong Si (Clear Understanding Temple), said to be the largest complex on Wutai Shan. It is also supposed to be China's second-oldest temple, started in 68 CE by the monks who founded Baima Temple in Luoyang, the oldest temple in China.

(2) These steles stand in front of the Great Manjushri Hall.

(3) Multiple Manjushris inside the Great Manjushri Hall.

(4) In front of the main hall is an often-talked-about sundial.

(5) A closer view of the sundial's face

(6) Because the Buddha Hall has a porch, it's described as having a "T" shape.

(7) The front porch gives rise to some complex roofage

(8) The Buddha inside the main hall.

(9) This is a so-called "beamless hall," meaning it's made of brick with a vaulted ceiling. Note how wooden eave brackets are simulated in brick.

(10) The main figure inside the "beamless hall"

(11) The right-hand bay of the hall has this Ming-period wooden model of a pagoda.

(12) These arhats were waiting to be placed somewhere.

(13) Something I've never seen before: a 1000-armed Manjushri (in a hall of its own). This motif is usually reserved for Guanyin, the Bodhisattva of Compassion.

(14) Up the hill behind the beamless hall is this very interesting little Bronze Hall. Lots of stories connected with this one.

(15) A closer view of the Bronze Hall

(16) The Bronze Hall from above and behind

(17) Inside the Bronze Hall, a bronze Manjushri and 10,000 bronze Buddhas

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Last Updated August 21, 2019

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