Having grown up listening to the "Legend of the White Snake", it was a real treat to finally visit Jinshan Temple. The entire grounds can easily take about 3 hours to cover, so set aside a whole morning or afternoon for this attraction.
Prior to entering the temple, we passed some vendors selling incense to be burnt as offerings, and for the fun of it, I decided to buy some. I was instructed of the proper procedure - i.e. only using the left hand to hold the incense while lighting it, then offering it in the four compass directions, and placing it by the candles once I was done.
One of the most famous Buddhist temples in China, it's been visited by many emperors. At the entrance for instance, one finds Emperor Kangxi's calligraphy. Once in, the temple, built over 1600 years ago, is an architectural marvel, but the sculptures on the interior were even more impressive. There were the 4 Great Sky Kings, the 18 Arhats, the Buddha of Good Fortune, the Goddess of Mercy, and dozens, if not hundreds, of miniature fairies. The vivid colours of these sculptures just make them even more impressive.
The temple aside, the grounds had other attractions too. We climbed to the top of the hill where the Cishou Pagoda was situated, and got a view over the local surroundings. Making the hike back down, we saw people trying to throw coins into the mouths of gargoyles - apparently if you get it in, it brings good luck. We also took a boat ride on the lake and headed towards the Zhongleng Spring, while the boatman sang us songs in Chinese.
Later, I was instructed in some fascinating Buddhist philosophy over a vegetarian lunch in a restaurant within the compound.
Overall, it was a very enriching visit, and definitely worth making a stop here.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.