Top 10 China’s Mysterious Temples: Majestic Architectures and Wild back Stories

China is known for the surprisingly profound culture – the numerous temples and monasteries scattered in the religious shrines or in the wild make up a significant part of the nation’s mysterious religious culture. 

1. Drepung Monastery (哲蚌寺) – Around 600 years old, built by Jamyang Chojey, a leading disciple of Tsongkhapa (founder of the Gelug Sect), it is the largest monastery of Tibetan Buddhism. From far, layers of its white walls spread throughout the valleys of Lhasa suburb…

Drepung Monastery Tibet

2. Jokhang Temple (大昭寺) – Located in the city center of Lhasa, the temple was built in 647, and houses an awe-inspiring selection of Buddhist art treasure. Precisely because of the pure gold statue of the Buddha Skyamuni in it Lhasa was considered the holy city of Buddhism.

Lamas in Jokhang Temple

Jokhang Temple Lhasa Tibet

3. Five Dragon Temple Shanghai (五龙禅寺) - a lesser-known Buddhist sanctuary in Jinshan District, Shanghai, with several century-old trees

Wulong Temple

4. Shaolin Temple(少林寺) – on the west piedmont of Songshan Mountain where there were 72 temples, Shaolin Temple is the earliest Zen Buddhist temple, and now has become a sacred place of traditional Chinese Wushu (Kung Fu).

China Shaolin Temple

Practice martial arts in Shaolin

5. Zhongling Monastery (钟灵禅寺) – with an enticing surrounding within Five Lotus Ponds Scenic area in Tsitsihar, it was initially a Taoist monastery, but has been taken over by Buddhism today. It is of masonry-timber structure, and with quint and sophisticated carving architecture. 

Zhongling Monastery in Tsitsihar

Zhongling Monastery

6. Longwu Temple (隆务寺) – one of the oldest biggest Tibetan Buddhist temple in Qinghai, it treasures a fantastic collection of Buddhist art and cultural relics.

Longwu Temple

7. Zizhu Temple (孜珠寺) - one of the highest temples in Tibet at 4850 meters, and one of the oldest and most important temples of Bonism, it still keeps the complete Bon classic and the practice method of mysterious Bon yoga.

Zizhu Temple

Zizhu Temple of Bonism

8. Nantai Temple (南台寺) – It locates in Hengyang, central China’s Hunan Province, and was first built between 502 – 519. 

Hengyang Nantai Temple

9. Tashilhunpo Monastery (扎什伦布寺) – the main attraction in Shigatse, built in 1447 by the 1st Dalai Lama, it is one of the six great monasteries of Gelug Sect of Tibetan Buddhism. 

Tashilhunpo Monastery Buildings

Shigatse Tashilhunpo Monastery

Monks in Tashilhunpo Monastery

10. Labrang Lamasery (拉卜楞寺) - in Xiahe County, northwest China's Gansu Province, the monastery is now the cultural center for Tibetan Buddhists in Gansu, Qianghai and Sichuan provinces. 

Festivals of Labrang Lamasery

Labrang Lamasery Lamas

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