No visit to the Chinese city of Qingdao would be complete without a visit to the renowned Zhanshan Temple. This shrine has the distinction of being amongst the newest in the nation of China, and the sole temple in the downtown area of Qingdao. Encircled by lofty mountains in three directions and faced by the ocean on the other flank, the place of worship is a site of great natural beauty that always rewards the visitor.
The buildings of the complex are composed of grey bricks and encased with black coloured tiles, in the Ming Dynasty style of architectural design. This temple compound comprises three distinctive courts. The principal buildings including the Grand Hall, the Hall of Heavenly Kings, the sutra repository and the Hall of the Three Saints are located within the middle court. The eastern court is the residence of the elderly monks and also contains the dining chambers. On the other hand, the western court features a memorial hall and some buildings of secondary importance.
As you enter the temple compound, you will notice a pool where a white jade figure of the goddess of infinite compassion Kwan-Yin stands, surrounded by lotus blooms. As visitors ascend the temple stairway, they will see an imposing gate flanked by a pair of handsome stone lions. Within the central court, the main buildings form a magnificent sight along the principal axis. Inside the Hall of the Heavenly Kings you will see a number of statues of Maitreya Buddha and the heavenly monarchs. Even more resplendent is the Grand Hall, which has many images of Sakyamuni Buddha, other notable arahats and a collection of Buddhist valuables. The amazing sutra repository is another significant location with its collection of innumerable sutras relating to Buddhism.
Zhanshan Temple and its breathtaking surrounding scenery attract a steady stream of visitors all year round. It is particularly popular at the time of the temple fair, which is determined by the local lunar calendar. Autumn is another splendid time to visit the temple, with the leaves of the surrounding trees in vibrant shades of red. If you are visiting the country and require Greater China hotels, an outstanding choice would be the Millennium & Copthorne Hotels China. These fine hotels in China offer well-appointed accommodation and courteous hospitality.