Tayuan Temple

On August 26, 2011, in Popular Provinces, Shanxi, Temples, by Jack Li

Tayuan Temple is in the south of the Xiantong Temple. Actually it used to be a part of the Xiantong Temple. The Tayuan Temple was designed by a Nepal architect Anige. It was separated from the Xiantong Temple during the Yongle Era in the Ming Dynasty. In the yard, there is a very well-known White Tower. The main layout of the temple is very tidy. Daci Yanchou Palace is in the very front with a pavilion of Buddhist texts in the back. The White Tower is in the middle.

When people walk into the Taihuai county, they see the tall White Tower in the Tayuan Temple at the first glance. The White Tower is so attractive that it is often seen as the symbol of the Mount Wutai. The base of the White Tower has eight right-angles. In the south of the White Tower is the back wall of the Daci Yanchou Palace. There are three shallow holes in the wall, through which people can see the footprint picture of Buddha Sakyamuni. It is said that before Buddha Sakyamuni died, he carved his footprints on a stone. Then he told his disciples that,” It is my last track. If anyone sees it, worship it, then he will escape from disease and disaster.”

Xuan Zang, a Buddhist monk in the Tang Dynasty carved his footprint on a stone on his way to India. He brought it back. The sculpture was worshiped by the Emperor Taizong in the Tang Dynasty very much.

In the north of the White Tower, there is the pavilion of Buddhist texts. The pavilion also has a stone cave. There stands the statue of the guardian fairy. The lower floors of the White Tower are called Tower Palace where there are Buddha statues of Wenshu, Chinese ancient goddess, Puxi, Dicang, and Sakyamuni. There also are statue of Monk Jigong and Liuhai. This grand white tower is a great achievement in Chinese architectural history. It was not easy to do the aerial work in the 60 metres high sky under the circumstances of weak science and technology. The tower has a perfect layout mixed with rounds and squares. The shape of the tower is beautiful and magnificent. When there is breeze, windbells ring. It is a very clear and pleasant sound.

Jack Li
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