Guangren Temple in Xian

Why is Guangren Temple So Special?

  1. Also known as Guangren Lama Temple, Guangren Temple is the only Tibetan Buddhist temple in Shaanxi province.
  2. As a sacred Tibetan Buddhist place of worship, the temple hums with mystery and spiritual energy. Perhaps the most valuable object in the temple resides in the final hall, a golden representation of Sakyamuni that rests upon a Tang dynasty pedestal. There is only one other like it, housed at the Jokhang Temple in Lhasa.
  3. There are countless Tang Dynasty cultural relics inside, which are full of the style of Tibetan Buddhist monasteries. The inscription can also be viewed in the temple.

Where is The Guangren Temple?

Guangren Temple, located in the north-west City Wall of Xi’an, is the only Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Shaanxi Province. Built in 1705 when the Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) patrolled to Shaanxi, this temple was a Xanadu for the Grand Lama of the Northwest and Tibet when he passed through Shaanxi along the road to Beijing to meet with the emperor. It is a witness to Tibetan and Han nationality’s cultural communication and national solidification.

History of Guangren Temple

Guangren Temple was first established by Kangxi Emperor in 1705, during the 44th year of Kangxi period (1661–1922) of the Qing Dynasty (1644–1911). During the Qing dynasty, a largest number of Tibetan Buddhist leaders had to gave an audience to the emperor in Beijing. Therefore, the Qing court built this Tibetan Buddhist temple in Shaanxi to provide places for the religious leaders to get accommodation and participate in Buddhist activities.

After the fall of the Qing dynasty in 1911, the temple was used as an office of the local government. In 1931, the bombs blew up the abbot’s room, but soon it was reconstructed by Yang Hucheng. In 1952, the temple was renovated and redecorated under the state financial allocation. In 1983, it has been designated as a National Key Buddhist Temple in Han Chinese Area by the State Council of China.

Major Buildings of Guangren Temple

Upon entering, you are faced by a colossal brick spirit wall – 6m high, 10m long and 1m thick. Of the temple halls beyond, notable shrines include the Hall of the 1000 Hand Guanyin – containing a rather masculine looking multiarmed Goddess of Compassion – and the Permanent Altar Lamp (万年灯; wànnián dēng), a wick floating in 108 jīn worth of oil within a protective shelter. The light represents wisdom, and as such is a lamp of knowledge, undying in its brightness.

The Central Hall (主殿), surrounded by prayer wheels that you revolve clockwise as you walk clockwise around the hall, houses an effigy of the Bodhisattva Tara (绿度母), with attendant statues of Wenshu and Puxian. In other side halls assemble further divinities, including the three-faced Uṣṇīṣa Vijaya (尊胜佛母) and the God of Wealth, who stares out from a scene of golden opulence, bottles of Maotai before him.

A further mesmerising spectacle is the Hall of a Thousand Buddhas (千佛殿), with its glittering gold and vermilion interior, and the final hall, the Depository of Buddhist Scriptures (藏经阁), containing a huge effigy of Buddha as well as the aforementioned, and highly rare, golden representation of Sakyamuni. A solitary ancient bodhi tree also grows from the temple soil.’

Eight Treasures in the Temple

1. ‘The Guangren Temple Stele Erected under the Imperial Order’ written by Emperor Kangxi.
2. The original stone sculpture of ‘The Guangren Temple Stele Erected under the Imperial Order’.
3. The Ming versions of ‘The Heart of Prajna Paraminta Sutra’ in 6,600 volumes.
4. The marble lotus vat bestowed by Emperor Qianlong.
5. The lotus throne of the Tang Dynasty for the statue of 12-year-old Buddha Sakyamuni.
6. A pair of nanmu dragon lanterns awarded by the Empress Dowager Cixi.
7. A sandalwood throne of the Qing Dynasty in the Grand Hall.
8. A hand-engraved gold Manda from Nepal.

Six Rare Trees in the Temple

1. The ‘Clothes-Hanging Cypress’
2. The 300-year-old ‘Cuilan Cypress’
3. A 100-year-old ‘Double-leaved Cypress’ (also named Unity Tree and Harmony Tree)
4. Two 100-year-old redbud trees
5. The 100-year-old clove tree.
6. Two ‘sensitive trees

Six Horizontal Tablets in the Temple

1. ‘The Guangren Temple’ inscribed by Emperor Kangxi.
2. ‘Royal Graciousness for Western China’ by Emperor Kangxi.
Thousand-Hand Boddhisattva
Thousand-Hand Boddhisattva
3. ‘Holy Land of Buddhism’ by Emperor Qianlong.
4. ‘Solemn Dharma-character’ by Empress Dowager Cixi.
5. ‘Majestic Temple’ by Kang Youwei, a great philosopher and scholar of the Qing Dynasty.
6. ‘The Guangren Temple’ by Zhao Puchu, the former president of the Buddhist Association of China.

How to get to Guangren Temple

Travel with ChinaDragonTours (top recommended)

If you want to get out of the traffic and hassle of navigation, you can book a private tour package that includes visiting, dining and transfer from us. Our local guide and driver will escort you to the Guangren Temple in Xi’an in the fastest and most convenient way and take care of all the details. You just have to focus on the visiting.

Independent Traveler

  • By Bus:
    Take bus No. 703 and get off at Guangrensi (Guangren Temple) Station. Walk towards north for around 2 minutes. Then turn west and walk along Xiwuyuan Road for around 3 minutes.
  • By Metro:
    Take Metro Line 1 and get off at Yuxiangmen Station. Get out from Exit D. Walk east along Lianhu Road for around thre minutes and then turn north and walk for around 5 minutes to reach.

Useful Travel Tips

  1. Best Time to Visit: All year round. As summer is hot in Xian, visiting in morning and after sunset is better choice.
  2. Children under 1.2 m (3.9 ft) can enter for free.
    Children between 1.2-1.5 m (3.9-4.9 ft) can enjoy a 50% discount.
  3.  On the 1st and 15th day of each month in Chinese lunar calendar, visitors can enter for free.
  4. National treasure
    The Buddhist Texts Library now stores 6,600 volumes of Prajnaparamita sutras which were awarded by Kangxi Emperor in the Qing dynasty (1644–1911).

Nearby Attractions

Edited by Bella Ren/任新月