Bell tower (Chinese Buddhism)

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Bell tower
Bell Tower of Yunju Temple (20150223134805).JPG
The Bell tower at Yunju Temple, in Beijing, China.
Traditional Chinese鐘樓
Simplified Chinese钟楼
Literal meaningBell tower

The Bell tower is an important building in Han Chinese Buddhist temples. Together with Drum tower, they are usually placed on both sides of the Hall of Four Heavenly Kings. It is usually located on the left side while the Drum tower is usually located on the right side. It is general a three-storey pavilion with a large bell hung in it. The loud and melodious sound of the bell is often used to convene monks. In each morning and night, beating the bell 108 times symbolizes the relief of the 108 kinds of trouble in the human world.[1][2][3]


Bell tower of Xiantong Temple[edit]

The Bell tower of Xiantong Temple was built in the Ming dynasty (1368–1644). A biggest copper bell is stored in the tower. It was cast between 1621 and 1627 during the Ming dynasty (1368–1644). Weighing 4,999.75 kilograms (11,022.6 lb), it sounds deep and sonorous when beaten, which can pass away for 5-kilometre (3.1 mi) and last for several minutes.[4][5]


  1. ^ Zi Yan (2012), p. 34.
  2. ^ Wei Ran (2012-06-01). Buddhist Buildings. Beijing: China Architecture & Building Press. ISBN 9787112142880.
  3. ^ Han Xin (2006-04-01). Well-Known Temples of China. Shanghai: The Eastern Publishing Co. Ltd. ISBN 7506024772.
  4. ^ Zi Yan (2012), p. 61.
  5. ^ Wang Jia (2012), p. 97.


  • Zi Yan (2012). "Xiantong Temple in Mount Wutai, Shanxi Province". Famous Temples in China (in English and Chinese). Hefei, Anhui: Huangshan Publishing House. ISBN 978-7-5461-3146-7.
  • Wang Jia (2012). "Mount Wutai: Xiantong Temple". Famous Mountains in China (in English and Chinese). Hefei, Anhui: Huangshan Publishing House. ISBN 978-7-5461-2704-0.

Further reading[edit]

  • Wang Guixiang (2016-06-17). 《中国汉传佛教建筑史——佛寺的建造、分布与寺院格局、建筑类型及其变迁》 [The History of Chinese Buddhist Temples] (in Chinese). Beijing: Tsinghua University Press. ISBN 9787302427056.
  • Zhang Yuhuan (2014-06-01). 《图解中国佛教建筑、寺院系列》 (in Chinese). Beijing: Contemporary China Publishing House. ISBN 9787515401188.