Huacheng Temple

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Huacheng Temple (Chinese: 化城寺) is the oldest and most prominent temple in Mount Jiuhua. It has a history of more than 1,500 years.

History[edit]

Huacheng Temple is the first temple and also the leading temple in Mount Jiuhua. It is said in Long'an 5th year (401), Jin Dynasty, Indian monk, Huaidu, built a small Buddhist temple here. During Kaiyuan years of Tang Dynasty, Tanhao monk was in charge and called it "Huacheng". In Jianzhong 2nd year (781), governor of Chizhou, Zhang Yan, got approval from central government, and moved the old board "Huacheng" to this temple. In Zhengyuan 10th year (794), Jin Qiaojue died at 99, and fellow monks regarded him as the incarnation of Ksitigarbha or Dizang. Ever since Huacheng Temple was dedicated to Dizang.

In late South Song Dynasty, the abbot was Guangzong, later called Guangchuan monk. In 1321 of Yuan Dynasty, the abbot was Zhenguan, later called Wuxiang monk. In Hongwu 24th year(1391) of Ming Dynasty, the abbots Zongling and Fajian expanded it to a Zen Buddhist temple. In Xuande 10th year (1435), Fuqing monk of Linggu Temple in Nanjing moved to Mount Jiuhua to preside over Huacheng Temple due to his old age. He rebuilt Grand Hall of the Great Sage, Cangjing, Zushi, Jingang, Tianwang and Jialan Halls, and also expanded Eastern Halls. In Zhengtong years, the abbots Daotai, and later Dugang, Fayan, Faguang expanded Foge, Fangzhang, Langwu, Dizang Hall and Shijie, forming Western Halls. In Longqing 6th year (1569), businessman Huang Longding of Anhui donated to rebuild the temple. In Wanli 31st year(1603), the abbot Liangyuan went to Beijing and the central government bestowed purple garment on him.

In Kangxi 20 year (1681) of Qing Dynasty, the governor of Chizhou, Yu Chenglong renovated the temple and built "Juhua Pavilion". The temple comprised Eastern and Western Palaces and totaled 72 halls. Thus, Huacheng Temple became the leading temple in Mount Jiuhua, called General Buddhist Temple. From Kangxi 42nd to 44th year (1703-1705), the emperor ordered his close servant to come to Mount Jiuhua to worship the temple three times, making donations and bestowing a board "Superior Place of Jiuhua"(九华圣境). In Qianlong 31st year (1766), it received another board written by the emperor, "Fragrant Grand Temple"(芬陀普教). However, in Xianfeng 7th year (1857), the temple was destroyed, and only Sutra Library was left. In Guangxu 16th year(1890), the abbot Lunfa and pilgrim Liu Hanfang and others donated to rebuild four halls. In 1926, Shi Rongxu founded "Jiangnan Mount Jiuhua Buddhist Academy" here.

The government of Qinyang County renovated the temple in 1955. But in 1968, all the Buddhist figures were destroyed. In 1981, the temple was rebuilt, and Mount Jiuhua Historical and Cultural Museum was opened. The preserved collection of more than 1,800 pieces was on exhibition. The temple has a land area of 3,500 square meters. On 8 September 1981, the government of Anhui claimed Huacheng Temple as a key conserved location of historical relics. In 1983, the state council honored Huacheng Temple as national key Buddhist temple in Han area.

Art[edit]

Mount Jiuhua has always attracted creative minds; poets and artists have visited here. As a result, there has been a rich legacy of art in the Huacheng Temple. Great artists,poets, and playwrights such as Li Bai, Liu Yuxi, Du Mu, Mei Yaochen, Wang Anshi, Wen Tianxiang, Tang Xianzu and Zhang Daqian have come to the mountain. Their calligraphic works and paintings survive to this day and are now housed in the Jiuhua Museum of Buddhist Relics.[1]

Architecture[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Jiuhua Buddhist Mountain". Retrieved 29 January 2013.