Dafo Temple (Grand Buddha Temple), Xinchang – Ticket, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

dafo temple xinchang

Dafo Temple (大佛寺), also known as Grand Buddha Temple, boasts a history spanning over a millennium, dating back to the Eastern Jin Dynasty. Situated in Xinchang, it stands out for its stone cave sculptures, making it one of the few surviving early stone cave sites in southern China, often referred to as the “Dunhuang of the South”.

The primary attraction of Dafo Temple is the Maitreya Buddha, a monumental stone statue with a history of over 1,600 years. Standing at a towering height of 16.3 meters, with knees spaced 10.6 meters apart, it reigns as the epitome of ancient Buddhist sculptures in the Jiangnan region. The sculpture of Maitreya Buddha exudes solemnity, wisdom, steadfastness, and transcendence, with a graceful and symmetrical posture. The flowing and elegant drapery accurately captures the soft texture of silk and the curves of the human body. The meticulously carved skin reveals a moist sheen, showcasing the exquisite craftsmanship of ancient Buddhist sculptures.

According to records, in the fourth year of Yongming during the Southern Qi dynasty (486 AD), Monk Hu witnessed a Buddha light emanating from the cliffs of Xianji Rock. He vowed to carve a grand statue of Maitreya Buddha on the cliff face. However, he only managed to complete the face of the statue in his lifetime and vowed to complete it in his next life. Subsequent attempts by Monk Shu were unsuccessful. It wasn’t until the sixth year of the Tianjian era during the Liang dynasty (507 AD) when Prince Suwei of the Jian’an Kingdom of Liang sent Monk You to oversee the continuation of the carving project. Finally, after ten years, the project was completed in the fifteenth year of the Tianjian era (516 AD).

In addition to the main Buddha statue, Dafo Temple houses a plethora of ancient Buddhist art treasures, including Tang Dynasty reliefs and Song Dynasty murals. These artifacts reflect the developmental trajectory of Chinese Buddhist art and hold significant value for the study of Buddhist culture. Furthermore, the temple preserves a variety of rare Buddhist scriptures, showcasing its scholarly importance as a Buddhist center.

The landscape surrounding Dafo Temple is equally stunning. Lush forests and encircling mountains complement the quaint courtyard architecture. Towering ancient trees and colorful flowers create a picturesque setting. Crossing the Nine-Bend Bridge and gazing upon the grand Buddha statue offers a breathtaking experience, allowing visitors to appreciate its majestic beauty amidst serene surroundings.

Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour2 – 3 hours
Ticket Price80 RMB
Opening Hours6.00 – 17.30 (1st May – 31st October)
6.00 – 17.00 (1st November – 30th April)
Telephone Number0086-0575-86115599

Location and Transportation

Dafo Temple is located at No. 117 Renmin West Road, Chengguan Town, Xinchang County, Shaoxing, Zhejiang Province, China. To get there, you can take bus Xinchang 2, Xinchang 4, Xinchang 17, Xinchang 20, Xinchang 22, Xinchang 8, or Xinchang L100, and get off at Dafocheng Stop (大佛城站).

Vlog about Dafo Temple

Other Attractions in Xinchang County

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