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Huayan Temple

Huayan Temple

Located in the downtown area of Datong, Huayan Temple stands directly toward the sky with its magnificence and spectacle. Huayan Temple is one of the most important temples of the Huayan Sect (a sect of Chinese Buddhism) during the Liao and Jin Dynasties. There are upper houses and lower houses in the temple with moon-shaped doors connecting each other. The layout of Huayan Temple is featured by the architectural style of the Liao Dynasty. For instance, its layout of sitting in the west facing the east originated in Liao people’s custom of worshiping the sun. From their perspective, the sun is everything. Therefore, the doors of their rooms and palaces open to the east. Two yards, the front yard and backyard constitute the first half of the temple. Mountain gates, corridors, halls for Buddhist practices and Yunshui Hall, etc are built in the front yard. The backyard is used for accommodating monks. Daxiong Palace is a must-see if you visit the temple. In the middle of the palace stand five Buddhist statues and on its walls are carved, colorful murals, which show Buddhist legends. They are all exquisite and have a high artistic value. In the northern gate of the palace is the stone inscription of The Book of Changes by hands of Zhuxi, a famous thinker and philosopher of the Song Dynasty. The second half of the temple is built around Cang Palace of the Bojia Sect (a sect of Chinese Buddhism), a place for storing Buddhist sutras. Unlike architectural styles of the Daxiong Manison, this palace has an antique style. In the Buddhist altar are three lifelike and elegant Buddhist statues. There are also a myriad of statues made in the Liao Dynasty. Among them is one with his mouth open and his palms clapping together being the most famous.