Línggǔ Temple Scenic Area

Top choice buddhist temple in Nanjing

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This expansive temple complex contains one of the most historic buildings in Nánjīng – the Beamless Hall (无梁殿; Wúliáng Diàn), built in 1381 entirely out of brick and stone and containing no beam supports. Buildings during the Ming dynasty were normally constructed of wood, but timber shortages meant that builders had to rely on brick. The structure has a vaulted ceiling and a large stone platform where Buddhist statues once sat.

A road runs on both sides of the hall and up two flights of steps to the graceful Pine Wind Pavilion (松风阁; Sōngfēng Gé), originally dedicated to Guanyin as part of Línggǔ Temple. The ochre-walled temple is also home to the Dàbiàn Juétáng (大遍觉堂) memorial hall, dedicated to Xuan Zang (the Buddhist monk who travelled to India and brought back the Buddhist scriptures). Inside the memorial hall is a statue of the travelling monk, pen aloft, with a cabinet housing a golden model of a pagoda with part of Xuan Zang’s skull within it. To his right is a model wooden pagoda, also within a cabinet.

Uphill to the rear of the temple is the colourful Línggǔ Pagoda (灵谷塔; Línggǔ Tǎ). This nine-storey, 60m-high, octagonal pagoda was finished in 1933 under the direction of a US architect, to remember those who died during the Kuomintang revolution. A vegetarian restaurant can be found nearby. Both tour buses Y2 and Y3 run to the Línggǔ Temple from Nánjīng Train Station. Alternatively, take the metro to Zhonglingjie station, then hop on tour bus Y2 from a stop a short walk west. Bright red shuttle buses (¥5) resembling steam trains regularly connect the area to the Sun Yatsen Mausoleum, shuttling to and fro.