White horse temple is adjacent to Mangshan Mountain in the north and Luohe River in the south. It covers an area of 34000 square meters and has more than 100 large and small buildings. The temple is located in the north and faces the south. It is in an axisymmetric pattern with a regular layout and distinct priorities. The key buildings in the temple are all distributed on the central axis. From south to north, they are the mountain gate, Tianwang hall, Buddha Hall, Daxiong hall, Jieyin hall and Pilu Pavilion. On both sides, there are bell and Drum Tower, gate hall, Yunshui hall, guest hall, Zhaitang, ancestral hall, Zen hall, Abbot’s hall and other auxiliary buildings.
The gate of Baima temple is a three hole arc gate with a single eaves resting on the top of the mountain and a plaque of “Baima Temple” inlaid on the front. It was written by Mr. Zhao Puchu, former president of China Buddhist Association. There are two blue stone horses standing opposite each other outside the temple gate. They are graceful in shape and gentle in shape. They are said to be the horses carrying scriptures in the Han Dynasty.
The main building of Baima temple is in the mountain gate. From south to north, the terrain rises gradually. The temple of the heavenly king is five in width and three in depth, with a single eaves resting on the top of the mountain. In fact, it is the original Mountain Gate of Baima temple. In the Yuan Dynasty, there were four major heavenly kings, Wei Tuo and Maitreya Buddha statues. In the Ming Dynasty, another mountain gate was built in front of it, so the original mountain gate was renamed Tianwang palace.
The Buddha Hall is the main hall of the temple, which was built in Ming Dynasty. It is built on a 1-meter-high platform, five wide and four deep, with a single eaves resting on the top of the mountain. The back wall and the gables on both sides are made of bricks and stones of the Han Dynasty, which are very rare. There are four big characters in the front and back of the ridge of the hall, which are “universal illumination of Buddha” and “constant rotation of Dharma wheel”. In the center of the hall, Sakyamuni and Ananda, the second disciple of Gaye, Manjusri and the two Bodhisattvas of Samantabhadra are worshipped. There are bodhisattvas of Avalokitesvara behind the hall. In the southeast corner of the hall hangs a bell made in the 34th year of Jiajing reign of the Ming Dynasty (1555), which weighs 2500 kg. It is engraved with the inscription “good weather, peaceful country, peaceful people”. There is also a big bell in Luoyang City. Two bells will resonate. There is a folk saying that “the east side of the bell rings in the west, and the west side of the bell rings in the East”. The “Masi bell”, one of the eight sceneries in Luoyang, also refers to this. At present, on New Year’s day, there is a traditional bell striking activity in that place.
Daxiong hall is the largest hall in Baima temple, in front of which there is a spacious platform. In the Tang Dynasty, it was the main hall of the temple. In the hall, there are three Buddhas: Sakyamuni Buddha in the whirling world, pharmacist Buddha in the Oriental glass world on the left, Amitabha Buddha in the Western Paradise on the right. All three Buddhas sit facing south. In front of the Buddha stood Wei Li and Wei Tuo, two day generals. Eighteen Arhats sat on the East and west sides. These statues were originally collected by the Imperial Palace in Beijing. In 1972, they were transferred to Baima temple and placed in Daxiong hall. In addition, the side wall of the temple also has wooden Buddha niches, offering 5056 mural Buddhas.
The reception hall is rare in general temples. It is dedicated to Amitabha, Avalokitesvara and Bodhisattva, the most powerful Bodhisattva, collectively known as the “three saints of the west”. The temple was destroyed in the fire in Tongzhi period of Qing Dynasty and rebuilt in Guangxu period. It is the temple with the latest construction time and the smallest scale.
Qingliangtai, located at the back of the temple, is a high-rise building, 42.8 meters long, 32.4 meters wide and 6 meters high. It is built of blue bricks. According to the inscription of the builders on the masonry method and the bond stone, it should be built in the Han Dynasty. The central building on the platform is Pilu Pavilion, surrounded by supporting halls, gatehouses, free living pools, galleries and so on. Covered by ancient cypresses, it forms a courtyard, which is called “air courtyard”. It’s said that this is the place where Emperor Ming of Han Dynasty spent his summer reading when he was young. Later, he gave it to two eminent monks to stay. Pilu Pavilion is a building with double eaves resting on the top of the mountain. In the hall, there are Pilu Jana Buddha, Manjusri Bodhisattva and Puxian Bodhisattva. They are called “three saints of Huayan”. The supporting halls on both sides are called shimotong hall and zhufran hall. There are statues of two eminent monks. On the East and west sides of the qingliangtai, there is a new Sutra Pavilion and a magic treasure Pavilion, which are dedicated to the Chinese ancient Buddha presented by the Buddhist community of Thailand and the Shakyamuni bronze statue presented by the Indian government.