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Overview and History of Baoguang Temple

Baoguang Temple is one of the “top four Buddhist temples in west China” with rich store of Buddhist scriptures and numerous Buddhist Monks. The 518 statues of arhat and 13 Sarira collected here give Baoguang Temple a sacred status. For the rich atmosphere of Buddhism and tranquil environment, this Temple has been attracting a great quantity of visitors and Buddhist to feel the Buddhist culture and pray. This temple was said to have been constructed well since 25-220 AD. And according to the history, Xizong Emperor gave it the name of Baoguang Temple (temple of divine light) when he saw divine light coming from the temple after he ran away to Sichuan from the war in 880 AD. Later Baoguang Temple has been destroyed and reconstructed for several times in different dynasties and is still kept well today.

Layout in Baoguang Temple

Baoguang Temple is composed of 16 courtyard, 5 palaces and 1 pagoda of wood and stone. Along the central axis stand the Screen Wall of Fu (lucky) Character, the Gate to the Monastery, the Hall of Heaven Kings, the Dagoba, Hall of Seven Buddha, Depository of Buddhist Sutras and Zixia Mountain. On each side there is a bell tower, a drum tower, the Hall of the Arhats, meditation room, and other Buddhist buildings in sequence. Lush trees, vigorous blossoms, red walls, and the ancient temples form a peaceful painting of Buddhism.

Baoguang Temple Baoguang Buddhist Temple

Highlights in Baoguang Temple

Hall with 518 Arhat Statues

The Hall of the Arhats is one of the most vital spots in Baoguang Temple, because there are 518 statues of arhats, which makes it the longest in history and the largest in scale among all the four halls of Arhats in China,. Every statue is about 2 meters high with vivid looks, appealing designs, colorful paintings, golden decorations, multiple poses and expressions. Strolling along, you can find a lot of interesting statues, such as, the kind arhat holding his lovely holy beast, the funning arhat scratching the itch on his back, etc. Moreover, there are two distinct arhats wearing imperial robes like kings. They are firmly said to have been sculptured according to the appearances of Emperor Kang Xi (康熙) and Emperor Qian Long (乾隆) in Qing dynasty.

Apart from appreciating these statues of arhats, it is also a “must try” to count the number of the stored statues. But it is hard to count the right number, for the reason that people often focus on the excellent skills on these statues when counting, therefore, they end forgetting the number just now. It is really a happy experience if you count the right number of these statues of arhats in Baoguang Temple.

There is a common saying about the origination of the five hundred arhats. After the death of Sakyamuni (the founder of Buddhism), the five hundred disciples gathered together and collected all the Buddhist teachings to pass on to the following generations, from then, they are called the five hundred arhats.

Baoguang Temple Front Gate of Baoguang Temple
Baoguang Temple Arhats in Baoguang Temple

Dagoba with 13 Buddhist Sarira

This pagoda of four sides and 13 stages is between the Hall of Heaven Kings and the Hall of Seven Buddha, with three vivid Buddhism statues on each side. The 13 holy Sarira of high value enshrined here are treasures in Baoguang Temple. Inside the Dagoba, there are worshipping 140 Buddhism statues of copper, stone, jade, etc. Besides,

Hall of Seven Buddha

Two stone foundations caved with dragons, the only remaining part from period of Xizong Emperor in Baoguang Temple, are under the pillar before this hall. Inside here, you can appreciate seven solemn and magnificent statues of tathagata of 4.4 and 3.1 meters high respectively.

Depository of Buddhist Sutras

This building is the biggest palace in Baoguang Temple of 13 meters high and 40 meters wide. The upper part is for restoring Buddhist Sutras where over 7 thousand rolls of precious Sutras are collected, including 43 volumes from Dunhuang. What’s more, you can pray before the statue of Thousand-hand Bodhisattva in the middle of the depository and appreciate the exquisite paintings on the wall.

Cultural relics

This building is the biggest palace in Baoguang Temple of 13 meters high and 40 meters wide. The upper part is for restoring Buddhist Sutras where over 7 thousand rolls of precious Sutras are collected, including 43 volumes from Dunhuang. What’s more, you can pray before the statue of Thousand-hand Bodhisattva in the middle of the depository and appreciate the exquisite paintings on the wall.

Recommended Route to Visit Baoguang Temple

Start from the Screen Wall of Fu (lucky) Character and enter the Gate to the Monastery. Next, go to the Hall of Heaven Kings to see statues of Maitreya, then, walk to the Dagoba to appreciate the 13 precious Sarira. Arrive at the Hall of Seven Buddha to see the only remaining object from period of Xizong Emperor, and then go to the Depository of Buddhist Sutras to admire the valuable Buddhist scriptures. After that, appreciate the beautifully designed arhats in the Hall of the Arhats and count their number. (For about 1-2 hours)

There are tea house and paid vegetarian dishes inside the temple. If you are not in a hurry, enjoy a leisurable time there.

√ 4 Days Sichuan Buddhism Tour (Chengdu/Leshan/Mount Emei)

Baoguang Temple The Leaning Dagoba in Baoguang Temple
Baoguang Temple Statue of Tousand-hand Bodhisattva
Baoguang Temple The Palm-leaf Manuscript in Baoguang Temple

How to Get to Baoguang Temple

Baoguang Temple is located about 25km northeast suburb of Chengdu. If you're interested in China's Buddhism culture and have enough time, you're recommended to visit Baoguang Temple from Chengdu.

Get from City Center to Baoguang Temple:

By Taxi: about 1 hour

By Public Transportation: Take Chengdu Metro Line 3 and get off at Clocl Tower Station, then take a taxi or bus to Baoguang Temple. It costs nearly 1.5 hours.

Book Our Private Tour to Baoguang Temple (Top Recommended)

If you want to get rid of hustle of public transportation, troublesome navigation and language communication, you can book a private tour package which covers sightseeing, dining and transfer from us. Our local tour guide and driver will escort you to Baoguang Temple and other attractions in & around Chengdu with speed and convenience, and take care of all the details. You just need to focus on sightseeing.

Chengdu Baoguang Temple Tourist Map Click to Enlarge Baoguang Temple Location Map

How to Plan a Chengdu Trip with Baoguang Temple

Chengdu is most known as "the Land of Abundance" in China, with three most representative brands: Giant Panda, leisure life and delicious food. Actually, there are more charm hidden in and around Chengdu, including the "Three Kingdom Culture", Sanxingdui civilization, brilliant UNESCO World Herigates. Once you come to Chengdu, you don't want to leave after you really into it.

During your Chengdu city tour, you can visit the Chengdu Panda Base in the morning to see the cute pandas, and visit other attractions in downtown, such as Renmin Park, Jinli Old Street, Kuanzhai Alley, Jinsha Site Museum, Chunxi Road, etc. Like local experience? Try a afternoon tea time in Renmin Park, or watch a Sichuan Opera Show in Shufeng Yayun Opera House, enjoy a cooking class in Sichuan Cuisine Museum. Your Chengdu tour can be interesting and relaxing.

★ Recommended Chengdu Tours :

√ 1 Day Chengdu Panda Tour

√ 2 Days Chengdu City Break

With more time, travel beyond the city center to nearby Leshan to wacth Leshan Giant Buddha and hike the Mount Emei,even you can go further to northwestern Sichuan to Jiuzhaigou Valley and western Sichuan for less-tourist but amazing beautiful scenery. China is vast and rich land, which offers a great variety of great destinations to travel with Chengdu. Therefore, you can expand your trip to Beijing - capital of China, Shanghai - modern metropolis, and Xian - time-honored ancient capital to have a deeper understanding of China.

★ Recommended Tours including Chengdu:

√ 7 Days Sichuan Discovery Tour (Chengdu / Leshan / Emei / Chengdu / Jiuzhaigou)

√ 7 Days Ancient China Tour with Panda (Beijing / Xian / Chengdu)

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