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Temple of the Origin of the Dharma (Fayuansi)

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As the oldest temple existent in Beijing city, Temple of the Origin of the Dharma (Fayuansi) is located in Fayuansi Qianjie, Xuanwu District. The temple was first built in Tang Dynasty in 645 AD and called Minzhongsi at that time in order to memorize the officers and soldiers who lost their life in the battle.

Occupying an area of 6,700 square meters, the temple contains a number of fine early cultural relics. One can find the bronze sculptures of the Four Heavenly Kings (Davarajas) and lions, the rare gilded figures of the three Buddhas---Vairochana (Piluzhena), Manjusri (Wenshu), and Samantabadra (Puxian) date back in Ming dynasty. The huge stone urn in the form of a Buddhist alms bowl, which stands on a double base before the Hall of Pure Karma (Jingyetang) rivals the jade urn in the Circular Wall (Tuancheng) in Beihai Park in terms of size and decoration. The sides of the Platform in Memory of the Loyal (Minzhongtai) inscribed with a cursive rendering of The Ode to the Pagoda by Zhang Shijin in the calligraphy of Su Lingzhi, who lived in the Tang Dynasty. There are also many fine examples of stelae, stone carvings, stone pillars inscribed with Buddhist sutras, plaques inscribed in the calligraphy of emperors and printed Buddhist scriptures, all dating from the Ming and Qing dynasty.

The temple also famed by its lilac. In 1924, the famous Chinese poet Xu Zhimo has accompanied the great Indian poet Tagore to visit the temple and appreciate the lilac. Also because of the classis elegance of the temple, many celebrities such as Ji Xiaolan, Hong Liangji and Gong Zizhen in old times always came to here. The premiere of Burma Wunv has once visited Fayuan Temple. The famous writer Liao in Taiwan was named the Nobel Literature Prize for the publishing of his saga novel Fayuansi. Therefore, Fayuansi has gradually raised his international reputation.

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