Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Grand Buddha Monastery (大佛古寺) - With a History of Over 1,000 Years! @ Guangzhou [Near Beijing Pedestrian Street]

Nestled in between modern buildings along Guangzhou's most famous street, i would not have given the green-tiled entrance much notice if not the Chinese character "古" (which means old, ancient etc).

In most cases, i doubt if many people would even pay it any attention! There were just so many people walking on the streets on the lookout for two things; food and shopping.

As we had ample time to spare on our last day in China for the Guilin-Longji trip and dad wasn't exactly keen on food and shopping, we catered for a short window to check out the supposedly ancient monastery.

In an area where prices for real estate were said to be rocket high, it's refreshing to see such a huge space that remained untouched by commercialism. 

Other than that, i didn't think the structure look any different from what we have in Singapore. Personally, the majestic Siong Lim monastery appears to be much more impressive.

However, i remained curious on the "古" character and did a search on the monastery after i returned to Singapore. And it's a shocker to know that its history went back to about AD 917 - 971 and was previously known as Xinzang Monastery.

There were of course periods of ruins, damage and the monastery we see now dated back to about AD1663, during the Qing dynasty. I believe it has a certain standing in the capital city as the place had quite a number of worshippers even though it was at a lull period of around 4.30pm! 

Three statues of Buddha were placed at the grand hall. As explained many posts before, they were likely the Shakyamuni Buddha (who found Buddhism), Amitabha Buddha and Bhaisajyaguru Buddha. 

Each was humongous at 6 meters tall, made of yellow copper and weighed a hefty 10,000 kilograms! 

A strange thing that i noticed at the offering altars; instead of mainly fruits, i found cans of potato chips! I didn't know the Buddhas are into such unhealthy snacks! No disrespect here by the way.

I actually didn't stay long in the monastery as unlike dad, i was really looking forward to having food in my tummy. What surprised me more was that the monastery was way larger than i expected! Do check out what i didn't if you happen to be in Guangzhou! 


No comments:

Post a Comment