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Xiantong Temple

Xiantong Temple is situated in the north of Dabai Pagoda at the center of Wutai Mountain, Shanxi Province. In 1983, it was designated as one of national key temples in the areas of the Han nationality.

It is said that Xiantong Temple was built in the 11th year (68) of Yongping reign of the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220), but the extant buildings were almost rebuilt in the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368-1911). This temple, as the largest-scaled temple of Wutai Mountain, covers an area of more than 80,000 square meters, and has more than 400 halls and rooms. All buildings here are symmetrically arranged, and main buildings include Kwan-yin Hall, Great Buddha Hall, Wuliang Hall (Hall of the Buddha of Immeasurable Splendor), Bronze Hall, etc.

A big bronze bell, named Changming Bell, is hung on the Bell Tower in the front of the temple. This is the biggest bell in all temples on Wutai Mountain. On its surface a Buddhist scripture of more than 10,000 characters was carved in regular script.

The Main Hall is the place where Buddhist ceremonies are held. The Statues of Sakyamuni, Amitabba, and Medicine Master Buddha (Bhaisajyaguru Tathagata Buddha) are enshrined at the center of the hall.

Wuliang Hall (Hall of the Buddha of Immeasurable Splendor) was named after the Power of Buddha Immeasurable. It was built with black bricks in the Ming Dynasty (1268-1644). Because there is no corridor around it and no girder in it, it is also called Wuliang Hall (Hall without Girder). A bronze Statue of Buddha is enshrined herein. This hall is really a masterpiece of China's ancient buildings.

The Bronze Hall was built in the 34th year (1606) of the Wanli reign of the Ming Dynasty (1644-1911). It is said that Master Miaofeng collected 100,000 jin (1 jin = 500 g) bronze from 10,000 households and built this hall with the bronze. Gold leaves were gilded on the external and internal surfaces.

Various rare paintings, calligraphies, cultural relics, and books are displayed in the Sutra Hall, among which the Tower of Flower Adornment Sutra is especially invaluable.

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