Jīmíng Temple

sights / Religious

Jīmíng Temple information

Nánjīng , China
Jimingsi Lu; 鸡鸣寺路
Getting there
Metro: Jimingsi
Opening hours
7.30am-5pm, to 5.30pm summer
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Alongside the city's Ming walls and Xuánwǔ Lake (Xuánwǔ Hú) is Buddhist Jīmíng Temple, first built in AD 527 during the Three Kingdoms period and rebuilt many times. The seven-storey-tall Yàoshīfó Pagoda (药师佛塔) offers views over Xuánwǔ Lake. Enter the base of the pagoda to see the spectacle of hundreds of gold Buddha figures in cabinets and then head up to the rear of the temple for a lovely walk along the city wall (admission ¥15; 8am to 4pm).

It's a fantastic journey along the overgrown ramparts, with long views over the lake.The temple also has a small shrine to the Indian monk and godfather to Shàolín boxing Bodhidharma (Damo), illustrated with a solitary shoe. Legend attests how, when Bodhidharma's grave was exhumed, it was empty but for a single shoe and it was assumed the monk had gone travelling with the other! The temple is the most active in Nánjīng and is packed with worshippers during the Lunar New Year. Jīmíng Temple also has a popular vegetarian restaurant and is served by its very own namesake metro station (Jimingsi), on line 3.