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National Key Historical and Cultural Heritage Protection Unit

Located on Guangxiao Road in Guangzhou city, the Guangxiao Temple, literally termed as Bright Filial Piety Temple in English, is one of the top four Buddhist temples (Guangxiao Temple, Liurong Temple, Hualin Temple and Haitong Temple) in Guangzhou City. It is the oldest and largest temple in Guangzhou and now under the care of the National Key Historical and Cultural Heritage Protection Unit. This temple has a history of more than 1,700 years. It is the popular saying among the Cantonese that Guangxiao Temple predated the founding of the city of Guangzhou.

The temple is Guangzhou's most ancient Buddhist temple, boasting of being one of the four most magnificent temples of Guangdong Province. The other three temples are Kaiyuan Temple in Chaozhou, Nanhua Temple in Shaoguan, and Qingyun Temple on Dinghu Mountain, Zhaoqing.

"First ground" refers to the landing place of Dharma, the founder of Zen Buddhism, in Guangzhou, i.e., the location of present Nanhua Temple, which is called "Landing Ground of Dharma". Then what does "Ke Forest" mean? Yu Fan, a noble of Wu Kingdom, planted a lot of Kezi trees here. Thus Guangxiao Temple got its alternative name of "Ke Forest".

The plaque of "Guangxiao Temple" was granted by Emperor Xianzong Zhu Jianshen, in 1482. It was honored as "Zen Buddhism Shrine" for its close connections with the various Buddhism schools of Zen Buddhism, amitabha, vinaya and vajrayana schools, and being Lingnan's first temple and the original place of Lingnan Buddhism. People here think often of Master Huineng, the Sixth Patriarch of the Buddhist Zen Sect, for it is here that he made his famous "Debate on Wind or Flag Moving", had his head shaven and became the leader of the South School of Zen Buddhism. The legend added much mystery to this thousand-year ancient temple with Sixth Patriarch Hall, Yifa Pagoda and Wind Flag Hall inside of it.

Guangxiao Temple covers a wide area with ancient trees towering to the skies. It consists of several hall buildings and boasts lots of cultural relics. We can learn from it the development history of ancient Chinese Buddhism culture and appreciate the artistic charming of Chinese ancient architecture.

The main buildings, historical relics and cultural relics preserved to date include the Mahavira (Daxiong) Hall built in the Eastern Jin Dynasty, the Spring for Washing the Monk's Alms Bowl built by the Indian monk Damo in the Southern Song Dynasty, Yifa Pagoda and Dharani Pillar built in the Tang Dynasty, the East and West Iron Towers built in the Southern Han Dynasty, Sixth Patriarch Hall and Samgharama Hall built in the Song Dynasty as well as steles, statues of Buddha, Kezi and Bohdi trees and other tokens that are related to Buddhism.

※ Address: No. 109 Guangxiao Lu, Yuexiu District, Guangzhou City

※ Tel: 81088867

※ Transporation:
· Metro: Ximenkou Station, Line 1
· Bus:
(1) Renmin Beilu Stop: 103, 109, 128, 186, 260, 2, 31, 38, 556, 823
(2) Haizhu Beilu Stop: 56, 58, Travel Shuttle No. 1
(3) Shiyi Yiyuan Stop: 12, 215, 253, 29, 56, 58, Travel Bus No. 1

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