Kaiyuan Temple (Quanzhou)

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The Hall of Mahavira at the Kaiyuan Temple
For other uses, see Kaiyuan Temple.

Kaiyuan Temple (Chinese: 開元寺; pinyin: Kaiyuan Si; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Khai-gôan-sī), also known as the Ziyun Hall (Chinese: 紫雲堂; pinyin: Zǐyún táng; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Chí-hûn-tông), is a Buddhist temple in West Street, Quanzhou, China, the largest in Fujian province with an area of 78,000 square metres (840,000 sq ft).[1]

It was originally built in 685 or 686 during the Tang Dynasty but was rebuilt by the Tamil Hindu community in the city in the late 13th century who dedicated it to Lord Shiva. Behind its main hall "Mahavira Hall”, there are some columns decorated by some Hindu carvings. The carvings are dispersed across five primary sites in Quanzhou and the neighboring areas. They were made in the South Indian style, and share close similarities with 13th-century temples constructed in the Chola Nadu region in Tamil Nadu. Nearly all of the carvings were carved with greenish-gray granite, which was widely available in the nearby hills and used in the region's local architecture.[2] In 1983, it was designated as a national temple.


  1. ^ "Kaiyuan Temple". Chinaculture.org. Retrieved 31 January 2012. 
  2. ^ Kulke, Hermann; Kesavapany, K.; Sakhuja, Vijay; Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (2009). Nagapattinam to Suvarnadwipa: reflections on Chola naval expeditions to Southeast Asia. Institute of Southeast Asian. p. 240. ISBN 978-981-230-936-5. Retrieved 31 January 2012. 

Coordinates: 24°55′00″N 118°34′52″E / 24.9168°N 118.5810°E / 24.9168; 118.5810