Located in Xiangjishi Lane, Xiangji Temple was built in the 3rd year of Taiping Xinguo reign of Northern Song Dynasty (978) and is dated back to over 1000 years. It was originally named Xingfu Temple. The name of Xiangji Temple was conferred by emperor Zhenzong of Song during Dazhong Xiangfu period. It was the most famous temple in Gongshu District and was the distribution center of pilgrims to Lingyin Temple and Tianzhu Temple. It has been dubbed the “the most popular temple along grand canal”. Each day, Grand Canal was busy with over thousand shuttling boats. The temple was ablaze with lights and was busy and crowded all night. It greatly contributed to the prosperity of business and tourism in Hushu region and even in Hangzhou and positively pushed forward communication of Buddhism and Zen culture. 

There were twin pagodas in former Xiangji Temple. The pagodas were built in 52nd year in Kangxi Period of Qing Dynasty (1713). According to Hushu Annals: During monk Xiang Wen’s stay in Xiangji Temple in Kangxi Period, he expanded foundation of the temple and built Pilu Pavilion and twin stone pagodas in front of the temple. Now only one pagoda exists. The existing pagoda is octahedral and nine storied. The pedestal was chiseled with white stone in pseudo-timber structured pavilion shape. The bracket imitates Song-style. A tablet with inscription of “Compassionate Cloud” is hung on the east facade of the third story. The south door is half-opened and a door on the fifth story is opened. A sacred Buddha is going out from the door. The structure, technique, relief style are typical of Qing Dynasty. In 1963, the pagoda was listed as cultural relic under municipal protection by Hangzhou Municipal People’s Government. In 1997, it was listed as cultural relic under Zhejiang Provincial protection.

In the initial stage of its establishment, the temple was under the reign of Qian Chu, who was a pious Buddhism devotee and established many temples and pagodas in Hangzhou, and remained in Wu and Yue style. In cruel reign in late Yuan Dynasty, Xiangji Temple, like other temple, was destroyed in the turmoil and chaos of war. As the first emperor of Ming Dynasty Zhu Yuanzhang was a monk before he was once a monk, he advocated Buddhism and launched large-scale consolidation and integration of Buddhism temples. As a result, Xiangji Temple and the surrounding temples were rebuilt and expanded in the early Ming Dynasty. In 24th year of Hongwu reign in Ming Dynasty (1391), Xiangji Temple had become a influential temple in Buddhism circle. The reputation of Xiangji Temple reached its peak after construction of the Pilu Pavilion and the twin pagoda in Kangxi reign of Qing Dynasty.

Since reform and opening up and due to CCP’s support of freedom in religious belief, Hangzhou’s continuous development in economy, society and culture and citizens’ increased demands for spiritual and cultural life, Hangzhou Municipal party and government leaders put reconstruction of Xiangji Temple on agenda. The rebuilding project was initiated in 2009. Adhering to the target of “building new urban-style temple oriented to 21st Century”, based on the style of Wu and Yue in Five Dynasties and referring to historic positioning in Ming and Qing Dynasty, the architecture structure of the temple combines tradition with culture and tries to recover the prosperity of “the most poplar along Grand Canal, concentration of folk customs in Hushu”. 

After completion of reconstruction in 2009, Xiangji temples became the only temple to consecrate Mahatma Kinnara King Bodhisattva ( supervisor of fast). The dismantled east pagoda was restored. The original west pagoda was renovated. Starting from archway, there are Hall of Heavenly Kings, Hall of Mahatma Kinnara King, Mahavira Hall and Depositary of Buddhist Texts in sequence on the main axis as well as Hall of Avalokite?vara Buddhisatva, Hall of Manjuist, Hall of Samantabhadra and Bell Drum Tower on the both sides, with total 34 Buddhist statues.

The central axis of the newly built Xiangji Temple adopts “seven-hall layout”, and is arranged in sequence with Hall of Heavenly Kings, Mahavira Hall, Depositary of Buddhist Texts as well as the Mahatma Kinnara King Bodhisattva between the Hall of Heavenly Kings and Mahavira Hall, which is unique and different from other temples. The layout of the both sides of the central axis follows that of the “four famous mountains” . In the front side and the rear side of the Mahavira Hall there are Hall of Samantabhadra, Hall of Avalokitesvara, Hall of Manjuist and Hall of God of Earth. The new Xiangji Temple innovatively adopts asymmetry layout of buildings on the both sides of the temple.
 Eminent Monks in History

1、Originator Yigong Monk

Monk in Song Dynasty, the originator of Xiangji Temple

2、 Wewui Monk

Monk in Song Dynasty, who rebuilt Puhua Nunnery in the lower yard of Xiangji Temple

3、Tripitaka Dharma Master

Monk in Song Dynasty, former name Youdao, became monk in Shunchang. He advocated Mind Only and Hundred Dharmas sects and learnt Tripitaka Mantrayana Dharma of Dharani in Western Paradise. He preached Rules of Tiantai School to Master Yuan Zhao and acquired its key rules. In middle of Zhenghe reign (1111-1118), he was granted dharma name “Bao Jue”

4、Ruchun Monk

Monk in Ming Dynasty, original of Liyang in Jiangsu, collaborated with his master Seng Qi, his disciple Zhiman to restore Xiangji Temple during Hongwu reign.

5、Yuanhua Monk

Monk in Ming Dynasty, the disciple Ruchun Monk, contributed two corridors for Jiangji Temple at the behest of the ancestor

6、Xixian Monk

Monk of Ming Dynasty, disciple of Yuanhua Monk

7、Disciple Xiangfeng

Monk of Qing Dynasty, alias Wenxiang, styled Xiangfeng, resides in Xiangji Temple in Kangxi Period

8、Qingyu Monk

Monk of Qing Dynasty, dharma name Da Xuan

9、Fozhi Buddhist Monk

Monk of Qing Dynasty, origin of Hubei Province, family name not known, lived in Zhongnan Mount for over decade during Xianfeng Tongzhi reign of Qing Dynasty. He made living by himself without accepting alms.

10、Master Zhao’an

Monk in Republic of China period, was abhor of Xiangji Temple in Republic of China period and was one of the eminent monks in Hangzhou.  

Tourist Service

Address: Xiangjishi Lane, Dadou Road Historic Block

Tel:0571-88316633

Opening Hour:07:00-21:00

Ticket fare: RMB 20 Yuan for ordinary times, RMB 50 Yuan for Chinese New Year Eve.

Bus:Take bus K57、K151 to Maiyu Bridge, then cross Jiangzhang Bridge to Dadou Road.

     Take Bus B-4 to Desheng New Village, then head northward and pass through Gushui Street (Shengli River Foods Street)

 

Buddhist Ceremony
    一、I. Buddha’s Birthday and Bathing Ceremony: Buddha Bathing Dharma Assembly on birthday of Sakyamuni, on the 8th day of the 4th month of Lunar calendar,

二、II. Birthdays of Other Buddha and Bodhisattvas:

Birthday of Maitreya: the first day of the first month 

Sakyamuni leaving home: on the 8th day of the second month 

Date of Nirvana of Sakyamuni: 15th day of the second month

Birthday of Avalokitesvara: 19th day of second month   

Birthday of Manjuist: 4th day of 4th month

Birthday of Sakyamuni: 8th day of 4th month (free ticket)

Avalokitesvara Enlightenment Day: 19th day of 6th month

III. Obon Festival: 15th day of 7th month

Birthday of Ksitigarbha Bidhisattva: 30th day of 7th month

Bodhisattva's Renunciation Celebration: 19th day of 9th month

Birthday of Medicine Buddha: 30th day of 9th month

Birthday of Amitabha: 17th day of 11th month

Sakyamuni Enlightenment Day: 8th day of 12th month (free ticket)

IV. Amitabha Festival recitation session: Vigorous Recitation Dhamma Assembly: first seven-day, third seven-day, even 7th seven-day 
 

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