Zhaojue Temple in Chengdu

Why is Zhaojue Temple So Special?

  1. Zhaojue Temple is one of the key Buddhist temples in China and an important place for Buddhist activities, and has been known as the “No. 1 Zen Buddhist Temple in Western Sichuan”.
  2. Zhaojue Temple has played a significant role in the history of Chinese Buddhism and made great contributions to the cultural exchange between China and other countries.

Brief Introduction of Zhaojue Temple

Zhaojue Temple is located in the north of Chengdu, linked with Chengdu Zoo, 5 kilometers from downtown area. It is reputed as the First Buddhist Temple in West China. It was first named “Jianyuan Temple” and later given “Zhao Jue” in Tang Dynasty.

Zhaojue Temple has a very complete layout. Travelers can explore along the central axis, from the Gate, Octagonal Pavilion, Tianwang Hall, Daxiong Hall to Depository of Buddhist Sutras, as well as Avalokitesvara Pavilion, Yushu Tower, Stone Buddha Hall, Dashi Hall, Xianjue Hall, Bell Tower, Drum Tower, Yuantong Grand Hall, Meditation Hall, Monk Hall, Vegetarian Restaurant, Free Life Pond, etc. If you are a Buddhist, it is a good choice to go and pray and meditate in the peaceful environment.

History of Zhaojue Temple

Zhaojue Temple was first built in the Tang Dynasty (618—907) by Xiumeng Buddhist who was the first abbot of Zhaojue Temple. And the Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty named it Zhaojue.

During Song Dynasty (960—1279), Zhaojue Temple was rebuilt with the support of Royal family. The famous abbot during Song Dynasty was Yuanwu Buddhist, who became the abbot of Zhaojue Temple twice. What’s more, the work of Zen tea blindly of Yuanwu Buddhist was introduced into some Asian counties, such as Japan and so on, which had a significant impact on these counties, especially Japan. As a result, the position of Zhaojue Temple was very important in the Buddhist history of China and it made great contributions to the culture exchange between China and other Asian counties.

During Ming Dynasty (1368—1644), Zhaojue Temple was expanded with the support of the Emperor Zhu Yuanzhang. Unfortunately, it was destroyed in the war in 1644. And then, Ming Dynasty collapsed.

During the early Qing Dynasty (1636—1912), Zhaojue Temple underwent extensive reconstruction with the supervision of the abbot. Because of the reconstruction, most buildings could be reappearance, such as the front gate, Octagonal Pavilion, the Hall of Heavenly Kings, the Hall of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, the Mahavira Hall, and a depository for sacred Buddhist sutras. And Zhaojue Temple was surrounded by waterways and trees.

In addition, Mr. Zhang Daqian, a famous painter of the modern era, spoke highly of Zhaojue Temple, because he once lived in Zhaojue Temple for four years to devote himself to the painting. As a result, many famous works of Mr. Zhang Daqian left in Zhaojue Temple.

Structural Layout of the Zhaojue Temple

The structural layout of Zhaojue Temple is very clear. The axis consists of the gate, the Octagonal Pavilion, the Hall of Heavenly Kings, the Mahavira Hall, and the Depository of Buddhist Sutra. On the two sides of the axis are the Guanyin Pavilion, the Bell Tower, the Drum Tower, and the Tower of Zen Master Yuanwu.

On the gate hangs a plaque which reads ‘The First Buddhist Temple’. Walking along the broad avenue, people can see the Octagonal Pavilion. Behind it stands the Hall of Heavenly Kings (天王殿), in which the Maitreya Buddha (弥勒佛 Buddha of the Future), and the four great Heavenly Kings are consecrated. Besides, the stone bridge in front of the hall is a precious historical relic.

Behind the Hall of Heavenly Kings is the Mahavira Hall (大雄宝殿). Entering the hall, tourists can see three white marble Buddhas. The Buddha in the middle symbolizes absolute truth. The one on the left represents wisdom, while the one on the right signifies benevolence. On the both sides of the Buddhas are the statues of the eighteen arhats showing different facial expressions.

How to get to The Zhaojue 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 Zhaojue Temple in Chengdu in the fastest and most convenient way and take care of all the details. You just have to focus on the visiting.

Independent Traveler

1. Take bus 1, 49, 53, 71, 83, 85, 87, 90, 245, or 530, and get off at Zhao Jue Si (Zhaojue Temle) Station.
2. Take Metro Line 3 and get off at Chengdu Zoo. Then walk to the temple within 5 minutes.

Useful Travel Tips

  1. Besides the numerous temples on Mount Emei, one of the Four Great Buddhist Mountains in China, there are some famous Buddhist temples in and around Chengdu, like Wenshu Monastery, Baoguang Temple, Zhaojue Temple and Daci Temple.

  2. Zhaojue Temple is close to Giant Panda Breeding and Research Center where you can see Giant Pandas. Most kids will love the lovely Giant Pandas.

Nearby Attractions

Edited by Bella Ren/任新月