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Suzhou Chongyuan Temple

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Chongyuan Temple, Suzhou (Chinese: 重元寺)

Brief Introduction

Located at the Yangcheng Lake peninsula in Suzhou Industrial Park, Jiangsu Province. Chongyuan Temple is a Buddhist temple constructed in 503 during the reign of Tianjian Emperor Liangwudi, with a history of 1,504 years. The temple was contemporaneous with Hanshan Temple, Lingyan Temple, and Baosheng Temple. It has the highest and heaviest above-water indoor Guanyin (Goddess of Mercy) Pavilion of China.

History & Background

Chongyuan Temple was originally named Chongxuan Temple and constructed in the second year (AD 503) of the reign of Tianjian of Emperor Liangwudi, Chongyuan Temple was contemporaneous with Hanshan Temple, Lingyan Temple, and Baosheng Temple. In Qing Dynasty, "Xuan", a word included in "Xuanye", the name of Emperor Kangxi, was avoided as taboo. Therefore, "Chongxuan" was renamed "Chongyuan". Thenceforth, the name of "Chongyuan" has been in use till today. During the Cultural Revolution, Chongyuan Temple was destroyed completely. In November 2003, the government of Jiangsu Province approved the reconstruction of Chongyuan Temple. Master Qiushuang, the abbot of Hanshan Temple, was made abbot of Chongyuan Temple.

The new temple, located at the picturesque Yangcheng Lake Peninsula, covers an area of over 300 mu (200,000 square meters). The mid-lake Avalokitesvara Tower and Chongyuan Temple add radiance and beauty to each other, unfolding a unique and magnificent look of a temple dedicated to Avalokitesvara. The statue of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva in the Tower, with a height of 33 metres and a weight of 88 tons of bronze, is wrapped by gold. The face looks majestic. And it is the biggest indoor statue of Goddess of Mercy in China. There is also a Mahavira Hall, the largest one in China. It is 36 metres in height, covering 2,100 square metres. The bell hung in the Bell Tower, is the Great Bell in the Tang Fashion. The drum, which is the biggest one made of leather and bronze cavity in China, is housed in the Drum Tower. The statues of Buddha, Bodhisattva and Devaraja in the temple are all large both on scale and in number.

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Event in Chongyuan Temple

Chongyuan Temple Holds Mid-Autumn Festival Evening Party
Chongyuan Temple in Suzhou Industrial Park held a mass prayer on the evening of September 11 and over a thousand spectators gathered to pray for peace and happiness. After that, the audience had the chance to enjoy an exciting cultural performance of Buddhist scripture chanting as well as the demonstration of the intangible cultural heritages of Suzhou.

This is the second celebration of the Mid-Autumn Festival held at the Temple after the inaugural event in 2008 and the theme is to pray for family reunion and happiness, to inspire people for kindness, and to share joy with disadvantaged social groups. 

The evening party has four chapters of Appreciating Moon and Praising Buddha, Zen and Joy, Happiness and Reunion, and Gratitude. The programs included ancient instruments, Kunqu Opera, Suzhou Opera, and dancing.

After the performance, led by Abbot Qiushuang, the Buddhist masters passed the lotus lanterns to the audience and then held a lantern-arraying ceremony at Guanyin Pavilion.

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How to get to Chongyuan Temple

Bus Route:
1. Take bus No. 109, 126, 128 and get off "Chongyuansi (chongyuan temple)" station
2. Take bus No. 128, 129 and get off "Chongyuansibei (North Chongyuan Temple)" station
3. Take bus No. 169 and get off "Chongyuansixi (West Chongyuan Temple)" station

Travel Information

Admission Fee: CNY 16
Opening Hour: 7:30-17:00
Time for Visit: 4 hours
Tel: 0512-65072999
Add: No. 333, Yangchenghuan Road, Weiting Street, Suzhou Industrial Park, Suzhou

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