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Baoguang Temple

baoguang-temple01Baoguang Temple, situated in Xindu County, is 18 kilometers away from Chengdu City. It is not only one of the oldest temples in Sichuan Province, but is also one of the four most renowned Buddhist temples in South China.

baoguang-templeThe Baoguang Temple was believed to have been built in the Eastern Han Dynasty. Later in the Sui Dynasty it was called Dashi Temple. In the Huang Chao Uprising in 881 in the Tang Dynasty, when the insurrectionary army stormed Chang'an, capital of the Tang Dynasty, Emperor Xizong fled to Sichuan and hid in the temple. To express his gratitude to Buddha, he ordered the temple rebuilt and renamed it Baoguang. The temple was destroyed in the Ming Dynasty but rebuilt in 1670 during the Qing Dynasty into a complex of one pagoda, five halls and sixteen courtyards. Except for the pagoda the buildings are all of the Qing Dynasty.

The square brick pagoda, painted white, has a stone pedestal and thirteen levels of eaves, which bend slightly upwards instead of downwards like multi-eave pagodas of the Tang Dynasty. The change must have resulted from later repairs. On each side of each storey are three niches for Buddhist statues.

The pagoda's special characteristic is that it stands in the center of the temple's front part. The whole structure retains the style of multi-eave pagodas in the Tang Dynasty, although it has undergone repairs several times and the style of certain parts has changed. It is the oldest extant pagoda in Sichuan.

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