The Republic of China is home a number of iconic sightseeing attractions such as Tiannamen Square and the Great Wall of China but also a number of lesser known attractions which are equally as interesting and intriguing. The Lion Grove Garden found in the Pingjiang District of Suzhou is one such sightseeing spot, which, though not well known, is definitely worth a visit.
The Grove is said to have been constructed in the 14th century as a tribute to one’s teacher, Abbot Zhongfeng and the name of the Gardens is said to be a reference to the Lion’s Peak of the Tianmu Mountain in Zhejiang which is where Abbot Zhongfeng is said to have attained the supreme bliss of Nibbana. In addition, the name is also said to be a reference to the rocks found in the gardens which take the shape of a lion. Consequent to creation of the Garden, an artist by the name of Ni Zan captured the beauty of the landscape in his work titled ‘Picture Scroll of Lion Grove’.
Unfortunately, subsequent to the construction of the Grove, the garden is said to have been neglected until Mingxing, a Buddhist monk invested his time and energy to rebuild the gardens and rejuvenate it. During this time, persons such as the Kangxi Emperor and later the Qianlong Emperor are said to have visited the gardens as well. The latter is said to have been so impressed by the Lion Grove that he gifted a tablet to the Grove and also instructed the creation of a similar garden in his Summer Palace. This attraction is now part of the classic gardens in Suzhou and has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well thereby making it a must visit attraction.
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