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South Putuo Temple

South Putuo Temple is situated in the southeast of Xiamen City, Fujian Province, adjacent to Xiamen University. As one of Buddhist famous sacred spots in the southern Fujian Province, this temple plays a very important role at home and overseas. Now, it is the site of South Fujian Buddhist Academy.

South Putuo Temple was built in the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Through constructions in several following dynasties, it was rebuilt in the twenty-third year of the Kangxi reign of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Because it is in the south of Putuo Mountain -- one of China's Big Four Buddhist Mountains in Zhejiang Province, it is called South Putuo Temple. Currently, it is among top ones in China in terms of the number of monks.

South Putuo Temple, with a delicate pattern, stands at the foot of South Putuo Mountain and faces to the East Sea. Its buildings are elevated tier upon tier along the medial axis. Its main buildings include Heavenly King Hall, Bell and Drum Towers, Main Hall, Hall of Great Compassion (Avalokitesvara Boddhisattva), and Sutra Hall. These buildings are symmetric on the left and right sides of the axis, so their arrangement is very distinctive. The Hall of Great Compassion has a very delicate architectural structure as well as a pavilion-like shape, and Thousand-hand Kwan-yin (Goddess of Mercy) is enshrined therein. The Statue of Kwan-yin was built with superb craftsmanship, and has one thousand hands and one thousand eyes, shining and glinting. The Sutra Hall treasures up a large number of Buddhist cultural relics and books as well as records. Around the temple, many stone inscriptions have been preserved up to now.

The South Fujian Buddhism Academy, on one side of South Putuo Temple, was founded in 1925, and is the cradle for carrying forward Buddhist doctrines and training Buddhists. It has gained a great reputation home and overseas.

Dominantly, this temple enshrines Kwan-yin, with endless streams of pilgrims. Each year, on February 19, the birthday of Kwan-yin, June 19, the salvation attaining day of Kwan-yin, and September 19, the day for Kwan-yin's becoming a nun, grand ceremonies are held here, and a large number of Buddhists and tourists come here to burn joss sticks, worship Buddha, and pray for health and wealth.

Another attractive trait of South Putuo Temple is vegetarian diets. All vegetable dishes are made in strict accordance with the vegetable dish making standards, and change the tradition of cooking vegetable in the similar way of cooking meat dishes. These vegetable dishes are well known home and abroad. Much attention is paid to color, fragrance, bouquet, shape, charm, and ware of all dishes. Each dish has a name, an elegant and idyllic name.


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