Xichan Temple, Fuzhou, Fujian
(October 24, 2011)

(1) I was a little worried that I wouldn't have time to see this temple. In fact, the grounds were open until 7:30 (though most of the halls closed before 6:00). Plenty of time. Xichan Temple's main feature (at least the most promoted one) is the pagoda. Meh. There's lots of better stuff there. Here's the temple as seen from the ponds near the entrance; on the other side of it is Fuzhou University.

(2) This is the ceiling inside a pavilion by the ponds. Hard to see at this scale, but there's a special feature here: the center is a mirror, and I'm in it!

(3) There were major ceremonies throughout the temple, so I couldn't get into some places. The inner walls of the Dharma Hall were completely shrouded in curtains, covering up the fine statues of the 24 Devas. I managed to sneak in a back door (pay no attention to that man behind the curtain) and get this close-up (there was no choice--I was squeezed against the case) of a 1000-armed Guanyin.

(4) Here's the one Deva I could find peeking around the curtain.

(5) Behind that hall was the Huayan Hall with a monumental Vairocana and companions. Moving.

(6) Next to that was this odd-looking Guanyin Hall...

(7) ...with a magnificent bronze Guanyin inside.

(8) From the Guanyin Hall I saw this huge building. What could it be?

(9) It's a six-story Hall of the 500 Arhats! I've selected a few to show you. These Guanyins in the center of the hall exhibit the Easter-egg pastels that typify the modern statuary (the hall dates to 1993). As modern interpretations go, I liked this collection a lot.

(10) This is unquestionably the most spacious 500 Arhat Hall I've seen. The Arhats stand in groups, posed fairly naturally, with room to dance in between.

(11) One of the 500 Arhats; kind of looks like he's dancing, but he's guarding a door (or so the story goes).

(12) Love those colors.

(13) I call this one, "Hey! Who took my flute?"

(14) This one has opened his chest to prove he "has the Buddha in his heart." (It's a long story...)

(15) This hollow litchi tree could probably tell some stories.

(16) The Jade Buddha Hall has yet another couple of jade Buddhas that are notably unspectacular, despite claims that they're "China's largest" (I doubt it; everything in China is the biggest, the oldest, the best). Frankly, nothing can touch the one in Shanghai. However, these guys are housed in an amazing Burmese-style building; they must feel right at home.
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OK, time to turn in. A long trip tomorrow, and some time with an old friend.

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Last Updated August 7, 2019

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