China Discovery Tour
Luoyang | China
03 Jan 2020 | Fri
Day 07 of 18
White Horse Temple Luoyang
Situated in Luoyang, Henan Province, White Horse Temple is the first Buddhist temple in China and one of the most renowned temples in the country. A visit here is a must-do for any traveler to China, as it offers a unique glimpse into the country’s religious history.
The temple was built in 68 AD during the Eastern Han Dynasty, and was originally named Lushi Temple. It was renamed White Horse Temple in memory of the two white horses that carried Buddhist scriptures from India to China. Today, the temple covers an area of over 30 hectares and consists of several buildings and courtyards.
When visiting, be sure to take a look at the iconic statue of the white horse that stands in front of the main hall. Inside, you’ll find a large statue of Budda as well as many other historical artifacts.
Hall of Heavenly Kings
Has a statue of the Maitreya, known in China as the Laughing Buddha
Hall of the Great Buddha
The main hall in White Horse Temple (built in the Ming Dynasty 1368-1644) and known for its elegant architecture. In the middle of the hall stands a statue of the Buddhist patriarch Sakyamuni along with two of his disciples – Kasyapa and Ananda standing on each side.
Hall of Guidance
The smallest hall at the White Horse Temple, here you will find the Amitabha Buddha (also known as the Buddha of Guidance). To his left and right are the Bodhisattva of Moonlight and the Goddess of Mercy. These sculptures were produced during the Qing Dynasty (1644 to 1912).
Hall of Mahavira
The largest and most impressive hall in White Horse Temple. In the center stands a two-story Buddhist shrine that showcases hand-carved birds and giant dragons. Also included are three saints Sakyamuni, Amitabha, and the Buddha of Medicine look with the eighteen arhats (followers) all made from hemp, silk, and clay. These items still keep their colorful appearance even though they were made in the Yuan Dynasty (1279–1368).
Foreign Temple Complex
As you exit out of the White Horse Temple complex (at back on the left side of complex) you will enter the Foreign Temple Complex. We did not realize about this section so it came as a surprise when we spotted a Thai Temple. In this section, you will find Temples from Thailand, Myanmar, and India.
I will cover the Thailand Temple in its own post here Thai Temple Wat Hame Assavaram at White Horse Temple