The Zhaojue Temple is situated in Qinglongchang in the north suburb of Chengdu, Sichuan Province, close to Chengdu Zoo. It is one of the key Buddhist temples in China and an important place for Buddhist activities, and has been known as the “No. 1 Zen Buddhist Temple in Western Sichuan”.
The Zhaojue Temple, dating back to the 7th century, was first constructed in the Tang Dynasty. Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty named it Zhaojue. During the early Qing Dynasty, it underwent extensive reconstruction under the supervision of Po Shan, a famous Buddhist monk, with waterways and groves of trees being established around the temple. In 1703, Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty granted a plaque to the Zhaojue Temple with an inscription: “Strict and Dignified Dharma Realm”.
Facing south, the ancient temple is surrounded by fields, with green mountains in a distance. Old and tall pines, cypresses and bamboo grow luxuriantly in the temple, and the halls are tucked away in the woods. The main architectural structures along the central axis include the front gate, Octagonal Pavilion, the Hall of Heavenly Kings, the Hall of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, the Mahavira Hall, and a depository for sacred Buddhist sutras.
Over the past 1,000 years or so, the Zhaojue Temple has occupied an important position in the Buddhist history of China, given birth to a number of eminent monks and made outstanding contributions to the cultural exchanges between China and other countries. Many Buddhist temples in Japan and Southeast Asia regard it as the ancestral place. Mr. Zhang Daqian, a famous painter of the modern era, once lived in the temple where he devoted himself to the study of painting art and created a great number of precious works of art.
Today Zhaojue Temple is not only famous as a Buddhist temple but also famous for its tranquility and peaceful environment. Its grounds are quieter and more spread out than at Chengdu’s other temples.
Address: No.333 Zhaoqing Road, Chenghua District, Chengdu, Sichuan Province.
Zhaojue Temple is about 5km away from Chengdu city centre. Loads of buses run to the nearby Zhaojue bus station from around town. Cycling there is possible.
Zhaojue Temple is located right next to the Chengdu Zoo, and not far from a center dedicated to research on Chengdu’s most famous residents, the Giant Pandas.
Inside the Zhaojue Temple, there is a nice vegetarian restaurant.