White Horse temple was built in the 11th year of Yongping (AD 68) in the Eastern Han Dynasty. It was built by the government after Buddhism was introduced into China. It has always been regarded as the “ancestral hall” and “source of interpretation” of Chinese Buddhism. It is said that the name of the temple is derived from the allusion of “white horse negative scripture”. White Horse temple has been rebuilt several times after wars. Today, the area of White Horse temple is not large, and there is no problem in walking around the panoramic area.
Tourists enter the temple through the mountain gate. The mountain gate was built in Ming Dynasty. The stone carved horses on both sides of the gate are relics of Song Dynasty. There are five main halls in the temple, which are located on a central axis. The main hall is the second main hall and the main place for practice. In the third Hall of Daxiong, there is White Horse temple’s “treasure of zhensi” – the only remaining “JIACHU dried lacquer statue” of Yuan Dynasty in China. There are 23 sculptures of “jiazhugan lacquer” in Yuan Dynasty in the palace, all of which are made of silk and hemp. Each one weighs only 3 to 5 kg. Since Yuan Dynasty, it has not been repaired for more than 700 years, but still has the same color.
In White Horse temple, there are more than 40 steles of different dynasties since Tang Dynasty. The book of ancestral court of White Horse temple in Luojing written by Zhao Mengfu, a calligrapher of Yuan Dynasty, is very precious (on the east side of the Mountain Gate). There are also three cemeteries worth seeing in the scenic area: the cemeteries of two Indian eminent monks (on the East and west sides of the Mountain Gate) and the cemeteries of prime minister Di Renjie. But there is also a saying: “the tomb of Di Renjie” is not the burial of Di adults, but Wu Zetian’s “face” Xue Huaiyi, who once presided over the White Horse Temple.
About 200 meters southeast of shanmenwai, there is a Qiyun tower. It was founded in the Eastern Han Dynasty and rebuilt in the Jin Dynasty. It is one of the few ancient buildings of the Jin Dynasty in the Central Plains.
Now another “World Buddhist temple Expo area” has been built beside White Horse temple to show the Buddhist temples in India, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Myanmar, Japan, South Korea and other countries. g