Famed for its Classical Gardens, Suzhou in China has many other captivating attractions such as the Hanshan Temple; here are insights about this revered site worth exploring on your trip.
Visiting the Temple
Overlooking the Grand Canal, the temple is around three miles from the old city and within a 25-minute drive from Ascott Midtown Suzhou. Those staying at such centrally located furnished apartments Suzhou has to offer can easily plan a visit to the site which is open from 7:30am to 5:30pm.
A Bit of History
The origins of Hanshan Temple go back to the Southern Liang Dynasty in the sixth century. A century or so later, Hanshan, a famed monk and poet became its abbot and is whom the site is named after. The temple was destroyed and rebuilt over time and the structure you see today, dates to the Qing Dynasty.
What to Expect
Set amidst a scenic park setting, the site is home to traditional structures, large courtyards, idyllic gardens and stone tablets with Chinese poetry. Most notably, the temple was mentioned in the classic poem “A Night Mooring by Maple Bridge” by Zhang Ji, a Tang Dynasty poet; this poem is etched on a 50-foot stone tablet at the Great Bell Garden.
Must-visit attractions include the Hanshan Temple’s main hall, Mahavira Hall, home to a Buddha Shakyamuni statue and gilded iron statues of the 18 Arhats. Also of note are the Hall of 500 Arhats featuring hundreds of statues, the Bell Tower with its impressive bell, the Sutra Library and the newer Puming Pagoda.