Zishou Temple

Publish Date:2021-07-03

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Zishou Temple is located in Suxi village of Lingshi county, commonly known as Suxi Temple by local people. Zishou Temple faces south, Mianshan Mountain on the east and Fenhe River on the west, with towering pavilions and standing halls.


Zishou Temple is on one side of Wang Family Courtyard, in Jingsheng Ancient Town, traditionally given the name “placed in green hills and clear waters, and the home of outstanding and talent people”.

According to the existing inscriptions of Lingshi county, Zishou Temple, founded in the year of Xiantong period (870) in the Tang Dynasty and rebuilt in the Song Dynasty, is a mixed type of temple, centering on Buddhism and Taoism for assisted.


Murals of its main hall and Medicine Hall are fine ones in the Ming Dynasty of our country’ s existing murals. Murals respectively documented legends about Sakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism, as well as three saints of Confucian, Buddhist and Taoist schools demonstrating their talent on the same stage, and other contents, which embodies a harmony feeling of diverse ideas combined and seeking advice from all sides.


The most beautiful of all in Zishou Temple are the “Three Ancient Architecture Wonders” of China.

The first is painted sculpture. There are more than one hundred painted sculptures in Zishou Temple. Their size is different, gestures vary, with expressiveness, vivid shapes, smartly dressed and harmony behavior. Each one is vivid and perfect. Representative works are the eighteen arhats in the San Da Shi Hall which are the precious ones of Buddhism.

Eighteen arhats’ heads were stolen were smuggled overseas in 1993. Mr. Chen Yongtai, president of Taiwan Auaora Group, investing in Shanghai, learned the news. Then he spent large sum of money to repurchase the cultural relics from Japan, Taiwan, Southeast Asia and other areas through twists and turns. In the Autumn of 1996, Mr. Yongtai told the Taiwan affairs office of the Shanghai Municipal People’ s Government that he was willing to donate precious eighteen arhats’ heads and returned them to their original owner. People on both sides of the Taiwan Straits felt grateful and moved about the news.

The second is the mural. Murals in the main hall and the Medicine Hall are the existing fine works in the Ming Dynasty of our country. The style has obvious foreign effects and also a strong local style, with exact delineation and enriched colors, some color pale and skilled, some composition bold and unconstrained, smooth line and a strong sense of concave-convex, which has an elegant and flexible feel.


The third is the caisson. The Medicine Hall has well-designed brackets. Orderly groups and contractive layers were arrayed around the edge of the caisson, decorated with curled-up dragon and medical plants increasing brilliance by mutual reflection, and ingenious structure, which has a delightful and generous feel.


Zishou Temple, as an ancient building in the Ming Dynasty, was listed as the 5th batch of Chinese national key cultural relics conservation units on Jun. 25, 2001. The signing ceremony of Zishou Temple in Lingshi county of Jinzhong and China Songshan Shaolin Temple’ s joint project was held at the Sutra Hall in Shaolin Temple on the morning of Aug. 21, 2014. Zishou Temple has been taken over officially by Shaolin Temple since then. Abbot Shi Yongxin of Shaolin Temple said: “We will cooperate with the local government to improve supporting construction of Zishou Temple, and promote local tourism and economic development, to benefit local people”.

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