Temple is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Guangzhou. It is a
National Cultural Relic Protected monument. As the special geographical
position, Guangxiao Temple often acted as a stopover point for many Asian
missionary monks in the past. It also played a central role in propagating
various elements of Buddhism. In the past, it was here that many Buddhist
masters gave their first teachings and many scriptures were translated.
The Grief Bell and Drum
There are various historic relics inside the Guangxiao
Temple. One of them is Grief Bell which had been set up first during the
second year of the reign of Baoli in Tang Dynasty. This bell is shaped
like a mushroom and is made from stone. Around the bell are various Hercules
embossments that convey the soul and spirits of Buddhism.. These embossments
have vivid facial expressions that are elegant and well shaped in postures.
The temple also has a drum which is used for prayer
meetings. The drum is located above the drum tower. It corresponds to the
chimes of the bell. The drum and the bell ring simultaneously during prayer
The Grand Hall
The Guangxiao Temple has a Grand Hall that had been built
during the Eastern Jin Period. It showcases the profound Buddhism details
in the temple with its constantly play of cymbals and musical stones. Additionally
the hall also has a washing bowl that has been carved by Southern Dynasty
dharma. There is a Tang Dynasty stone bell. The iron tower has thousands
of Buddhist statues from the Ming and Song Dynasties. The Lying Buddhist
Palace is home to several precious items.
West Iron Pagoda
In the Guangxiao Temple complex is the Western Iron Pagoda
which had been cast by the Five Dynasties in 963. It is said to be the
oldest pagoda in the country. The pagoda is square and once had 7 stories.
However, some of them collapsed and were destroyed during the Qing Dynasty.
Today the pagoda only has three stories. All over the pagoda there are
carved Buddha images.
At the center of each side is a large niche for the seated
Buddha statue. The base of the pagoda is surrounded by large petals and
supported by a Sumeru pedestal. All of these are made from iron. The pedestal
and eaves are engraved with beautiful images of celestial guards, flying
apsaras and various designs.
East Iron Pagoda
The Eastern Iron Pagoda in Guangxiao Temple is a seven
story, square pagoda which had been cast by the Five Dynasties in 963.
It is 7.69 meters in height and has a 1.34 meters stone Sumeru pedestal.
The iron body is 6.35 meters in height. The pagoda’s steeple has been destroyed.
There are over 900 niches and Buddhist statues on the pagoda showcasing
excellent workmanship. The base of the pagoda is surrounded by large petals
and supported by a Sumeru pedestal and was first known as the Gilded Pagoda
of One Thousand Buddhas.