Zhanshan Temple

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Zhanshan Temple pagoda (taken April, 2004)

Zhanshan Temple (Chinese: 湛山寺; pinyin: Zhànshān Sì) is a Buddhist temple in Qingdao, Shandong, China. It is located on the southern side of Zhanshan (literally 'clear' or 'deep mountain'), facing the sea.

The monastery was built in 1945 and is an active, functional Buddhist sanctuary. Apart from the Stupa and the Olympic Mascot Bell Tower, located on the right-hand side of the grounds, the remaining buildings are situated in a rectangular format. To the right of the entry portal is one of the several Buddhist scripture shops. Here, incense sticks and other Buddhist supplies are available for purchase. Adjacent the scripture shop is a Bell Tower (zhonglou; 钟楼) with the first of many statues of Buddha. At the right of the entry is the Drum Tower (gulou; 鼓楼) with another Buddha.

Returning to the central path, directly ahead is the Heavenly King Hall (tianwang dian; 天王殿). The large Buddha, which is the focal point of this shrine, is flanked by four large statues, one depicting a pipa player. Directly behind Heavenly King Hall is the larger Hall of Sakyamuni (大雄宝殿),which honors the founder of Buddhism, the son of a king of the Sakya clan of the Kshatriya (i.e., warriors). His given name was Siddhartha, his family name, Gautama. The epithet “Sakyamuni” means “sage of the Sakyas.” In this magnificent hall, a large, central Buddha is flanked by two smaller statues, each attended by eight priests. This hall is an active place of prayer equipped with cushions for kneeling, candles for lighting incense, and other Buddhist prayer supplies.

Behind the Hall of Sakyamuni is the Hall of Three Saints (san sheng dian; 三圣殿). In the center of the hall are three large, gilded statues, each about twelve feet in height.

Continuing along the central path, the next building is the Preaching Hall (shengtang; 圣堂). To the left of Preaching Hall is the Hall of the Recumbent Buddha (wo fo dian; 卧佛殿), where, behind a long, gilded altar, a gilded, bejeweled statue of Buddha stretches out almost twenty feet in length.

Opposite the Hall of the Recumbent Buddha is the Shandong Zhanshan Buddhist College (Shandong Zhanshan Fo xue yuan; 山东湛山佛学院). To the right of the Hall of the Recumbent Buddha is the headquarters of the Qingdao Buddhist Association, Tiantai sect, (Qingdao fojiao xiehui; 青岛市佛教协会). Exiting the monastery grounds, one passes the Olympic Mascot Bell (ao yun jixiang zhong; 奥运吉祥钟)The view from the top of this bell tower is panoramic; however, there is an additional fee of 10 元 to see that view.

The 8 April of the lunar calendar is traditionally observed as the birthday of the Buddha. On that day, thousands of Buddhists flock to the monastery grounds to attend religious events.

In 2004 a major renovation was initiated. As of June 2009, the renovation remains in progress.

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