Xiantong Temple Introduction in Wutai Mountain.
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Xiantong Temple

Xiantong Temple

Located in Taihuai County, Xiantong Temple is the largest and oldest one among all temples in Wutai Mountain. It’s crowned as a shining pearl as it boasts a long history carrying numerous rare cultural relics.

Baima Temple in Luoyang, Henan province was originally built under the reign of Emperor Mingdi in the Han Dynasty. As it was built several years after the construction of Baima Temple, it is now also listed as the second oldest temple in China. Its original name was Lingjiu Temple and was later expanded in the Northern Wei Dynasty. Since there was a garden in its foreyard, it was also called Garden Temple. It was reconstructed during the Taizong Period of the Tang Dynasty and got its name, Da Huayan Temple then. During the reign of Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang of the Ming Dynasty, it was renovated and got its name Big Xiantong Temple. Later, Emperor Zhudi named it Auspicious Xiantong Temple. After, Emperor Zhu Xujun named it Huguo Shengguang Yongming Temple (Yongming Temple for short). In the 26th year under the reign of Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty (1687AD), it was renamed Xiantong Temple. This name remains unchanged today.

Xiantong Temple is the largest one among all temples in Wutai Mountain, with  an area of 43,700 square meters with over 400 houses of various sizes. Most of the houses were built in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. The layout of the halls and compartments in the temple are arranged in order. The side halls are symmetric with an axis in the middle. The seven main halls that cover the axis are as followed: Guanyin Hall, Da Wenshu Hall, Daxiong Hall, Wuliang Hall, Qianbo Wenshu Hall, Tong Hall and Cangjing Mansion from the south to the north. Besides, there is Drum Tower, monks’ dorms and auxiliary halls inside the temple.