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Huayan Temple

Huayan Temple Travel Guide

Brief Introduction
Huyan Temple is divided into two separate complexes, one of which is an active monastery(the upper temple), the other being a museum(the lower temple). It was originally built by the Khitan during the Liao dynasty(AD 907-1125), though little survives from that period. interestingly, the temple faces east, not south; it´s said the Khitan were also sun worshipers.

The Upper Temple is immediately recognizable from the Buddhist music blaring out of the shops leading up to the entrance. The main Mahavira Hall dates back to 1140 and is one of the largest Buddhist halls in China.

The Lower Temple doubles as the city museum and contains assorted relics from the Wei and Liao dynasty. The rear hall, which at one time was a sutra library, was built in 1038 and is the oldest building in Datong. Inside are some remarkable Liao dynasty sculptures.

Both temples are accessed from alleyways leading off the Qing-style Huyan Temple.

Traffic:

Bus 4 from the train station stops nearby.

DCT Tips:

Recommended time for a visit: two hours.

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