Tongnan Great Buddha Temple, Chongqing – Ticket, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

tongnan great buddha temple

Tongnan Great Buddha Temple (潼南大佛寺), located in the Tongnan District of Chongqing, stands as a testament to the rich cultural heritage and spiritual traditions that have flourished in this ancient land. With its origins dating back to the Tang Dynasty during the Xiantong era (860-873 AD), this temple has undergone significant transformations and is now renowned for its magnificent architecture and the remarkable stone-carved statue of the Buddha. Originally known as “Dingming Yuan” or “Nan Chan Si,” the temple gained its current name, “Great Buddha Temple,” during the Song Dynasty when a colossal Buddha statue was carved into the surrounding mountains. This temple complex boasts four ancient wooden structures: the Great Buddha Pavilion, the Guanyin Hall, the Jade Emperor Hall, and the Jian Pavilion.

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour1 hour
Ticket Price30 RMB
Opening Hours8.30 – 18.00
Telephone Number0086-023-44222300

Location and Transportation

Tongnan Great Buddha Temple is situated at the base of Dingming Mountain, near Shuangjiang Ancient Town, just one kilometer to the west of Tongnan District in Chongqing, China. It is approximately 100 kilometers away from the urban area of Chongqing city. To get there from Chongqing, you can follow the steps below:

  1. Take a high-speed train from Chongqing North Station to Tongnan Station, which takes approximately one hour and costs around 35 RMB. There are 19 trains available daily, with the earliest departing at 6:15 AM and the latest at 8:05 PM.
  2. Upon arriving at Tongnan Railway Station, transfer to bus route 202, which will take you to Tongnan Great Buddha Temple in approximately one hour, costing 2 RMB.
  3. If you have a more flexible budget, you can also opt for a taxi, which covers the 8.5-kilometer journey in about 13 minutes and typically costs around 22 RMB.

Highlights of Tongnan Great Buddha Temple

Massive Buddha Statue

massive buddha statue in tongnan great buddha temple

Tongnan Great Buddha is a unique example of a massive rock-carved gilded Buddha statue, a rare find in the world of sculpture. It is counted among the “Four Great Buddhas of Sichuan and Chongqing” and holds the distinction of being the largest golden Buddha in China and the seventh-largest in the world.

Standing at a towering height of 18.43 meters, the statue’s head measures 4.3 meters, while its ears stretch to 2.74 meters. The Buddha sits in a lotus position, bare-chested, draped in a double-layered robe. The left hand rests on the knee, while the right hand lies flat across the chest, bearing the gesture of fearlessness. Every part of the Buddha’s form is meticulously proportioned, and the robes flow gracefully, creating a lifelike and dignified presence. The Buddha’s eyes radiate a profound and powerful expression, exuding an aura of majesty.

Great Buddha Pavilion

great buddha pavilion in tongnan great buddha temple

The Great Buddha Pavilion, which originally had five tiers, was a spectacle with its entire roof covered in brilliant glazed tiles, making it one of the earliest examples of such roofing in ancient Chinese architecture. Over the years, it has seen renovations, including during the Ming Dynasty, when it was expanded to its current seven-tier structure. What makes this pavilion even more impressive is that not a single nail or iron piece was used in its construction. Rising 33 meters from the cliff face beside the river, it exhibits a distinctive and grand architectural style.

Seven Emotions Stairs

seven emotions stairs in tongnan great buddha temple

Adjacent to the seven-tier Great Buddha Pavilion is the Seven Emotions Stairs, or “Qiqing Tai.” In ancient times, it was known as the “Great Buddha Cave.” These 42 broad stone steps were carved into the cliffs, resembling the strings of a giant musical instrument. As visitors ascend these steps, their footsteps produce melodious sounds, akin to a resonant musical instrument. What makes this phenomenon even more enchanting is that every seventh step produces a particularly clear and melodious echo, akin to striking a bell or playing a musical instrument. This unique auditory experience, known as the “Stone Steps with Musical Resonance,” dates back to the Xuande era of the Ming Dynasty (1426-1435). It predates Beijing’s famous Echo Wall at the Temple of Heaven by more than a century, making it one of China’s four ancient acoustic architectural wonders.

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