Bishan Temple


Bìshān Temple is Wutai Shan's largest shífāng chánsi (十方禪寺): Buddhist monks of any denomination are welcome to stay and eat here for free. The austere complex dates from the 5th century, but was considerably added to during the Ming dynasty. An interesting feature is the precept platform (戒坛, jiè tán; called 'abstinence altar' here), where Buddhist precepts are formally kept and received. Here too lies one the temple's most precious donations – a Buddha statue of white Burmese jade.

Precepts are taken very seriously at this temple – you'll see reminders for proper behaviour on the walls.