Within the Xindu district, around 18km outside of the bustling city of Chengdu, you will discover the majestic Baoguang Temple, which translates to “Divine Light”, and elegantly emerges out of the mist-curled terrain. It is renowned for its impressive stone pagoda spanning thirteen stories, as well as the temple’s precious array of Buddhist artifacts that lend the site an air of luminous grace and tranquility.
The temple itself dates back to the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-225 AD), and it rose to fame during the Kaiyuan generation that unfolded during the Tang Dynasty. The beautiful stone pagoda that extends thirty metres is one of the temple’s pride-of-place elements, and it was built during 862-888. Although one cannot actually enter it since the interiors are pure stone, it is an awe-inspiring monument to photograph from the temple’s grounds. An orderly stack of ornate roofs feature artfully upturned eaves, decorated with tinkling copper bells at each corner. The pagoda’s top-most layer is gold plated, and each side of every floor seats a stature of the Buddha that is inlaid in gold.
Baoguang’s sprawling 100,000-square-metre complex also houses an exquisite Arahat Hall, adorned with mesmerizing statues of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and temple founders (59), impressive arahats measuring two metres high (518). You will also discover other beautiful sculptures, paintings, and other images that convey spiritual ideals with a playful mix of humour and wit within. Built entirely out of clay, this impressive hall ranks as the largest, oldest, and most famous spiritual enclave of its sort in the country.
The temple affords visitors with an idyllic space to quietly contemplate the finder points of this evocative spiritual practice. As part of your experience, remember to savour the “Thousand Buddha Tablet”, which was created in 540, and the Hua Yan Sutra, which came to life in the Yuan Dynasty, and is an elegant treatise in Mahayana Buddhism that is believed to recount the initial awareness of Sakyamuni Buddha at the point of enlightenment. A pinnacle of luminous beauty is apparent in the exquisite white jade Buddha statue, one of the temple’s most treasured artefacts. Visitors will also enjoy exploring the 176 gold plaques, 24 steles, 76 couplets, and 400 ancient works of art, paintings, and intricate calligraphy works that coalesce to imbue Baoguang Temple with a unique air of tranquil grace.
After you have absorbed the temple’s serene spiritual surrounds, retreat to an exquisite hotel Chengdu has to offer seekers and visitors, such as the M Hotel Chengdu. Its elegant interiors and courteous hospitality will afford all guests with the much-needed respite that makes it a sublime hotel in Chengdu China to host your cultural forays.
Angela Fernando is an impassioned travel writer who composes pieces under the pen name Sumaira Narayan. She loves writing about new and exciting places around the world and hopes to visit them all someday. Google+