Hanshan Temple

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Hanshan Temple literally "Cold Mountain Temple", is a Buddhist temple and monastery in Suzhou, China. It is located at the town of Fengqiao (lit. Maple Bridge), about 5 kilometres west of the old city of Suzhou.

Surging Wave Pavilion
Hanshan Temple

Traditionally, Hanshan Temple is believed to have been founded during the Tianjian era (502-519) of the reign of Emperor Wu of Liang, in the Southern and Northern Dynasties period. The current name of the monastery derives from Hanshan, the legendary monk and poet. Hanshan and his disciple Shide are said to have come to the monastery during the reign of Emperor Taizong of Tang (627-649), where Hanshan became the abbot.

The Bell of Hanshan Temple

Two bells are currently used at Hanshan Temple, both dating from the late Qing Dynasty when the temple was last rebuilt. One was forged in China in 1906, and the other was forged in Japan at around the same time. The dedication on the bell was written by Japanese Prime Minister Ito Hirobumi. The original Tang Dynasty bell is believed by some to have been taken to Japan in ancient times. These two factors have roused some nationalistic controversy among Chinese and Koreans.

Surging Wave Pavilion
Hanshan Temple

A new 108 tonne bell commissioned by Hanshan Temple and built by a foundry in Wuhan was completed recently, and is on its way to Hanshan Temple to replace the hundred years old Japanese built bell. The new bell is 8.5 metres high and 5.2 metres in diameter at its widest.

Surging Wave Pavilion
Hanshan Temple

Features of Hanshan Temple

Hanshan Temple Scenic Spot of Suzhou is a provincial scenic spot of Jiangsu, which lies on the side of the ancient canal 3.5 kilometers west to Suzhou and covers 45 hectares. With many places of interest and four provincial preservation units of historical and cultural relics in the scenic spot, the humanistic scenes are plentiful and the natural sights are beautiful.

The Hanshan Temple was originally built during the reign of Tianjian in the Liang Dynasty. The poem of "Mooring to the Maple Bridge at Night" by Zhang Ji of the Tang Dynasty is so oft-quoted and widely loved that the poetic rhyme and the bell-tolling sounds have made the Hanshan Temple famous at home and abroad. The characteristic tourist program of listening to the bell tolls of the Hanshan Temple on the New Year's Eve has been an exceptionally grand occasion since its beginning in 1979. On every New Year's Eve, thousands of visitors at home and abroad gather inside and outside the temple to listen to the one hundred and eight bell tolls and pray for luck and happiness in the new year. The Maple Bridge and the Jiangchun Bridge stretch over the ancient canal and are simple and elegant in shape. Looking into the distance on the bridges, the sights of hills, waters and fields outside the city of Suzhou leaping up into the eyes and are unfolding in all their majesty.

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