Hanshan Temple in Suzhou

Why is Hanshan Temple So Special?

Hanshan temple is famous for a famous poem written by Tang dynasty poet Zhang Ji when he passed Hanshan temple in a boat. This poem describes the melancholy scene of a depressed traveler who berths in Qiao Feng at night and hears the bell of Hanshan Temple. This poem is still very popular in China, Japan and South Korea. It is part of the primary school curriculum in China and Japan.

Where is Hanshan Temple 

Hanshan Temple, located in Fengqiao Town (Qiao Feng) in the western suburb of Suzhou, was once one of the ten famous temples in China. Hanshan temple, also called Hanshan temple, is located in Suzhou city. it was built in 502 by two famous eminent monks.

History of Hanshan Temple 

It is said that in the Tang Dynasty, a famous monk Han Shan took charge of the temple, hence the name. The temple was first built in Liang Dynasty (502-557) and has been repaired several times in subsequent dynasties. Now, it covers about three acres (about 10,600 square meters), showing the architectural style of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). It includes the big prayer hall, the sutra depository, the bell tower, the Fengjiang pavilion and the stone corridor. In 1995, a 138-foot (about 42-meter) high five-story Buddhist pagoda was built, named Puming Pagoda, which later became a symbolic building of the temple. There are also more historical relics in the temple, such as Han Shan statues, inscriptions of the poem “Night Mooring Near Fengqiao” and other inscriptions written by famous intellectuals in ancient China.

Main Attractions of Hanshan Temple 

The Bell

Han Shan Temple is one of the most famous temples in Chinese history. It often boasts of its bell. However, the most famous clock described in Zhang Ji’s poems disappeared a long time ago. Now the clock in the tower is modeled on the one before 1904. Every New Year’s Eve, the bell rings 108 times to pray for happiness and safety in the coming year. After the ceremony, tourists can write down their New Year’s resolutions on the prayer wall and enjoy a wonderful performance. This festival attracts thousands of tourists from home and abroad.

The Statue of the  Sakyamuni

Hanshan Temple is also a Buddhist temple. The statue of Buddha Sakyamuni is offered for worship in the Great Prayer Hall. In the Red Hair Hall, there are bronze statues of three eminent monks: Xuan Zang (Tang Dynasty monk and translator), Jian Zhen (Tang Dynasty monk who went to Japan to preach) and Konghai. Konghai is a Japanese monk who studied Buddhism in China in the 9th century. When he was in China, he visited Hanshan Temple. After returning to Japan, he began to preach in his own country. Until now, temples are one of the most important places to hold Buddhist activities.

The Maple Bridge

Around the temple, you can also enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Maple Bridge, where Zhang Ji’s boat was once moored, and get a realistic feel of the ordinary life of the people living in the Fengqiao Old Town. You can also have a look at the famous Jinghang Grand Canal, which is the longest ancient man-made canal in the world.

Ring the Bell on New Year’s Eve

As a great cultural landmark in Suzhou, it has not only exerted great influence on festival activities and the beliefs of the local people, but also attracted millions of tourists to come and worship. Every year on December 31, Hanshan temple will hold a new year’s bell ringing activity. during this period, the superior of Hanshan temple will ring 108 bells. tourists can enjoy all kinds of celebration activities.

Best Time to Travel Hanshan Temple 

March-April and September-October are the best travel times in Hanshan Temple.

But in Hangzhou, there is no season or weather. No matter in spring, summer, autumn and winter, rain or shine, rain or snow, it can conjure up a beautiful appearance. September-November: The weather is crisp in autumn, and sweet osmanthus trees full of Longgui rain are fragrant for ten miles. Before and after the Mid-Autumn Festival, you can watch the spring tide in Qiantang during the day and enjoy the moon in the lake at night. March-May: The spring breeze is warm and the spring water is intoxicating. It is most suitable for strolling along the Suzhou Creek and enjoying the flowers.

How to Get There

  • Take bus no. 30, 31, 33, 40, 44, 300, 301, 307, 313, 324, 332, 406, 415, 442, 622, 816, 932 or tourist bus no. 3 and get off at Hanshansi South Station.
  • Take bus no. 9, 10, 30, 45, 306, 931 or 935 and get off at Laifengqiao Station.

Useful Travel Tips

Admission Fee CNY 20
Opening Hours 07:30 – 17:00 (Tickets are sold before 16:30)

On New Year’s Eve, there will be a grand “bell-ringing” ceremony in the temple. The activity starts at 18:00 on December 31 and ends at 01:00 on January 1 of the following year. In the activity, many entertainment programs related to Buddhism are performed, and tourists can ring the bell after the ceremony.

Nearby Attractions

Edited by Doreen/张洋