Chongyuan temple, Suzhou – Ticket Price, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

chongyuan temple in suzhou

Chongyuan Temple (重元寺, Zhongyuan Temple), originally known as Chongxuan Temple, is a historic Buddhist monastery located on the picturesque Yangcheng Lake Peninsula in Suzhou, China. Its roots trace back to the year 503 AD, making it more than 1,500 years old. During the early Northern Song Dynasty, it underwent a name change to Chengtian Temple. Towards the end of the Northern Song Dynasty, it was renamed Nengren Temple. However, during the Kangxi era of the Qing Dynasty, it was once again renamed and has retained the name Chongyuan Temple ever since.

The tumultuous period of the Cultural Revolution led to the complete destruction of Chongyuan Temple. However, in 2003, a comprehensive reconstruction effort was undertaken, restoring the temple to its former glory.

Chongyuan Temple boasts several remarkable features, including the tallest and heaviest indoor statue of Guanyin, the goddess of mercy, in China. Additionally, it houses the country’s heaviest bronze bell, weighing an impressive 10 tons. The grandeur of the temple is further exemplified by the towering Great Buddha Hall, standing at 38 meters in height and covering an area of 2,100 square meters. Another notable structure is the Waterborne Guanyin Pavilion, reaching a height of 46 meters.

With its rich history, cultural significance, and impressive architectural elements, Chongyuan Temple stands as a testament to the enduring spiritual and artistic heritage of Suzhou, inviting visitors to immerse themselves in the tranquility and grandeur of this ancient Buddhist site.

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour1 – 2 hours
Ticket Price20 RMB
Opening Hours7.30 – 17.00; Last admission: 16.30
HistoryInitially built in 503 A.D. and named Chongxuan Temple
Destroyed in 842 because of a government campaign to eliminate Buddhism
Rebuilt and Renamed as Chengtian Temple in the early North Song Dynasty and then as Nengren Temple in the late North Song Dynasty
Destroyed in fire in 1330 and rebuilt in 1341
Telephone Number0086-0512-62890886

Location and Transportation

Chongyuan Temple is situated on the peninsula of Yangcheng Lake in the captivating city of Suzhou. This historical and cultural gem finds its abode within the city’s tranquil landscapes, harmonizing with Suzhou’s reputation as the “Venice of the East.” Its exact address is No.333, Yangcheng Ring Road, Suzhou Industrial Area, Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China. To get there, you can choose the following ways:

Bus: Take bus 126, 1052, or 1061 and get off at Chongyuan Temple Stop (重元寺站).

Metro: The closest metro station to Chongyuan Temple is Yangcheng Lake South (阳澄湖南) on line 5. After getting out of the station from Exit 3, transfer to bus 1052 to cover the remaining 5.5 kilometers.

Highlights of Chongyuan temple

Architectural Splendor

architectural splendor in chongyuan temple

Chongyuan Temple’s architecture in Suzhou is a mesmerizing fusion of traditional Chinese design and spiritual tranquility. With its ornate main hall, intricate wooden carvings, and multi-tiered roofs, the temple radiates elegance. Pavilions, courtyards, and reflective water features seamlessly intertwine with nature, embodying the essence of Suzhou’s architectural grace. Sculptures, symbolic decorations, and carefully landscaped gardens create an atmosphere of serenity and reverence. This masterful integration of cultural elements, from delicate latticework to guardian figures, paints a vivid picture of spiritual devotion, making Chongyuan Temple a breathtaking testament to China’s architectural and religious heritage.

Guanyin Statue

the guanyin statue in chongyuan temple

The Guanyin statue at Chongyuan Temple is a sublime embodiment of compassion and divinity. Standing at 33 meters and weighing 88 tons, this intricately crafted sculpture of the bodhisattva Guanyin radiates serenity and benevolence. With graceful features and serene expression, the statue captivates devotees and visitors alike, evoking a profound sense of tranquility and reverence. As a symbol of mercy and solace, the Guanyin statue holds a central place in Chongyuan Temple’s spiritual narrative, inviting contemplation and connection in the heart of Suzhou’s rich cultural and religious tapestry.

Grand Main Hall

the grand main hall in chongyuan temple

The main hall of Chongyuan Temple stands as a serene masterpiece, embodying profound tranquility within its sacred confines. Adorned with intricate architectural details and ornate sculptures, the hall exudes a sense of timeless spirituality. Bathed in soft, ethereal light that filters through ancient windows, it creates an atmosphere of reverence and contemplation. Housing a majestic central altar, the hall is a sanctuary for devotees, fostering a deep connection to their spiritual journey. Its harmonious blend of artistry and devotion offers a space where one can seek solace, reflect, and find harmony amidst the bustling world outside.

Scenic Beauty

scenic beauty of chongyuan temple

Yangcheng Lake, enveloping Chongyuan Temple in Suzhou, is a gem of natural splendor. Renowned for its delicate beauty, this freshwater lake enhances the temple’s tranquil surroundings. Crystal-clear waters mirror the changing skies, reflecting the serenity that characterizes the area. The lake’s shores are adorned with verdant foliage, while its embrace offers a cool breeze that caresses visitors’ senses. Yangcheng Lake is not only a visual delight but also a vital part of Suzhou’s heritage, providing the temple with a scenic backdrop that seamlessly blends nature’s tranquility with the architectural grace of Chongyuan Temple.

Vlog about Chongyuan Temple

Useful Tips Summarized from Reviews

Feeding Pigeons and Koi Fish:

  • Pigeon food is available for purchase at 5 yuan per bag. It can be obtained through a self-service QR code.
  • The pigeons in the temple are friendly and not afraid of people. Enjoy feeding these chubby pigeons.
  • Similarly, you can buy fish food for 5 yuan per bag to feed the numerous koi fish in the temple.

Vegetarian Meals at Xiangji Kitchen:

  • Xiangji Kitchen in Chongyuan Temple is praised as the best environment for vegetarian meals among the temples visited.
  • Operating from 9:30 AM to 1:30 PM, the average cost per person is around 20 yuan, and the portions are generous.

Zen Meditation:

  • While wandering through the temple, you may encounter individuals engaged in Zen meditation.
  • The temple offers a rich meditation program, including scripture reading, walking meditation, Zen tea ceremonies, etc.
  • The meditation sessions last for 8 days, and there is no charge for participation.

Attractions near Chongyuan Temple

Other Temples in Suzhou

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