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Visit Beisi Pagoda, Suzhou’s oldest Buddhist temple

( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2017-06-14

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Visit Beisi Pagoda, Suzhou’s oldest Buddhist templeAs any Suzhou resident knows Beisi Pagoda, also called North Temple Pagoda or Bao’en Temple Pagoda, is the oldest Buddhist temple in ancient Suzhou. The history of the site dates back over 1,700 years ago and is well worth a visit today for anyone intrigued by Buddhist culture, tradition, or history.

Once octagonal, i.e. eight sided, the nine-story pagoda reaches a total of 76 meters into the sky and was originally built from the finest brick and wood the land had to offer by Sun Quan (182-252), who ruled the state of Eastern Wu during the Three Kingdoms Period (220-280).

Sun created the site for the touching purpose of praying for his mother’s happiness and wellbeing. It was originally named as Tongxuan Temple before later acquiring the name Kaiyuan Temple during the Tang Dynasty (713-741). It finally ended up with the name Bao’en Temple, which means to pay sincere gratitude. It saw major reconstruction during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period (954-959) in order to return it to a pristine condition and ensure it remained a viable worship site. Visit Beisi Pagoda, Suzhou’s oldest Buddhist temple
 
Beisi Pagoda and Huqiu Pagoda, which literally translates as Tiger Hill Pagoda, has stood the test of time so that we might know them as two of the most important historical monuments in the famed city of Suzhou.

The temple is a site of worship for Buddha and Bodhisattvas, such as Maitreya Buddha, Skanda, the four heavenly kings and the Buddha of the Past, Present and Future. It has long stood as a place of Buddhist pilgrimage and has attracted many a devoted worshipper to its hallowed ground.

Address: No 1918 Renmin Road

Open hours: 8:00 to 18:00

Visit Beisi Pagoda, Suzhou’s oldest Buddhist temple

The Beisi Temple Pagoda is certainly a wondrous sight on a blue sky day when the iconic red and black of the building’s frame reaches high into the sky and is visible from different parts of the city. [Photo from visitsz.com]

Visit Beisi Pagoda, Suzhou’s oldest Buddhist temple

Thick plants make the temple area a great destination for summer resort. [Photo from visitsz.com]

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