Dabei Monastery, Tianjin – Ticket Price, Opening Hours, Location, and highlights

dabei monastery

DaBei Monastery (大悲禅院, Great Mercy Monastery), located in Tianjin, spans an impressive 42,000 square meters. Its origins trace back to the Shunzhi period of the Qing Dynasty and have undergone numerous renovations and expansions since. The monastery is renowned for its vibrant spiritual ambiance, attracting locals as a revered place for Buddhist worship. What sets DaBei Monastery apart is its lack of commercialism; there are no exorbitant fees or commercial activities, creating an atmosphere of pure and serene devotion.

The monastery’s layout is simple and elegant, adorned with numerous historical relics, exuding a timeless charm. The main entrance is on the southern side, leading to two courtyards, each housing various buildings, including the Grand Hall, Hall of Compassion, Hall of Earth Treasury, Memorial Hall for Master Xuanzang, Memorial Hall for Master Hongyi, and a Scripture Hall. A leisurely walk through the monastery typically takes around two hours.

The Grand Hall in the eastern courtyard is particularly noteworthy for its grandeur. Inside, the hall houses hundreds of precious Buddha and Bodhisattva statues from various dynasties, ranging from the Wei and Jin to the Ming and Qing. Of special significance is the central statue of Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva with a thousand arms and a thousand eyes, a focal point for sincere worship.

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour1 hour
Ticket Price5 RMB
Opening Hours9.00 – 16.00;
Closed on Mondays
Telephone Number0086- 022-26261769

Location and Transportation

Dabei Monastery is located in Tianjin, China. Its exact address is No. 40, Tianwei Road, Hebei District, Tianjin, China. To get there, you can choose the following ways:

Bus: Take bus 910 or Tourist line 1 and get off at Yuanwei Road Stop (元纬路站). Or take bus 324 and get off at Tuanjieli Stop (团结里站)

Metro: Unfortunately, there is no metro station near the monastery at the moment. You have to take the bus or taxi.

Highlights of Dabei Monastery

Grand Main Hall

grand main hall in dabei monastery

The Grand Hall, situated on a two-meter-high platform made of large blue bricks, has six red columns at the entrance. The hall is 5 bays wide and 3 bays deep, making it the main hall of DaBei Monastery. Built in 1940, the hall houses a bronze statue of Sakyamuni Buddha seated on a thousand-Buddha lotus pedestal, cast in the Ming Dynasty, which was relocated from Jinghai District, Tianjin. The statue is 5.2 meters high and weighs 6 tons. The lines of the bronze statue are clear and harmonious. On the lotus pedestal, 9999 small Buddhas are meticulously crafted from fiberglass. Flanking the main Buddha are statues of Ananda and Kasyapa, two disciples of Sakyamuni. In front of the bronze statue is a jade Buddha, 1.6 meters high and weighing 888 kilograms, donated by layman Zheng Guochuan in 1994.

Buddhist Teachings and Practice

buddhist teaching and practice in dabei monastery

Dabei Monastery in Tianjin is not only a place of architectural beauty but also a center for Buddhist teachings and practice. Within its serene walls, visitors have the opportunity to engage in various aspects of Buddhism. Meditation sessions are offered, allowing individuals to find inner peace and cultivate mindfulness. Lectures on Buddhist philosophy provide insights into the teachings of compassion, wisdom, and enlightenment. Interacting with resident monks and nuns offers a chance to deepen one’s understanding of Buddhist principles and seek guidance on the path to spiritual growth.

Hall of Heavenly Kings

ornate architecture in dabei monastery

The Hall of Heavenly Kings, with a length of about 20 meters and a width of 15 meters, stands as a majestic structure within the Dabei Monastery. The exterior walls bear the inscription “南无阿弥陀佛” in large characters. Flanking the entrance are a pair of stone lions, and the lintel above the door displays the seal-script inscription “古刹大悲禅院 (Ancient Dabei Monastery)” by layman Wang Xiang. Inside, the central Buddha is “Namo Maitreya Buddha of the Future.” Behind Maitreya stands the Dharma Protector Weituo Bodhisattva, wielding a treasure pestle. Flanking the hall on both sides are the Four Heavenly Kings: Dhrtarastra in the east, Virupaksa in the south, Virudhaka in the west, and Vaishravana in the north.

Memorial to Xuanzang

memorial to xuanzang in dabei monastery

The Memorial Hall for Master Xuanzang is located to the right of the Hall of Compassion and is dedicated to housing the skull relic of the eminent Tang Dynasty monk. The hall features a 2-meter embroidered portrait of Master Xuanzang and a 1.2-meter golden stupa on the altar. Inside, there are replicas of rare Ming Dynasty portraits of Xuanzang, along with exhibits detailing his life, achievements, and some of his scriptures and writings.

In 1944, during the Japanese occupation of Nanjing, a stone casket containing Xuanzang’s skull relic was unearthed while constructing a road outside Zhonghua Gate. A portion was taken by the Japanese, while the remaining fragments were distributed to Beijing, Tianjin, Nanjing, Guangzhou, and Sichuan. The Tianjin fragment found its home in DaBei Monastery in 1954, symbolizing the deep reverence for this revered monk in the heart of the monastery.

Vlog about Dabei Monastery

Useful Tips Summarized from Reviews

Entrance Guidance: Avoid entering the monastery through the center; instead, use the two side gates for entry.

Incense Burning Etiquette: When lighting incense, if it catches fire, avoid blowing it out with your mouth. Let it extinguish naturally or gently fan it with your hand.

Information on Notice Board: Inside the monastery, there is a wall with an informational board providing insights into aspects that may be overlooked by the general public. This includes details about visiting times and any specific etiquettes when entering the halls. It’s recommended to take a look.

Afternoon Chanting at 3:00 PM: At 3:00 PM, there is a chanting session within the monastery.

Caution about Fortune Tellers: Be cautious about fortune tellers along the roadside outside the monastery; it’s advisable not to place trust in them.

Attractions near Dabei Monastery

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