Fayuan Temple

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Situated south of Jiaozi Alley outside Xuanwumen, Fayuan Temple (Temple of the Source of Dharma) is the oldest ancient Buddhist temple in Beijing. It also houses the China Buddhist Association, the China Buddhism Institution and the China Buddhism Library and Relic Center, thus serving as an important venue for nurturing young monks and Buddhist research. Fayuan Temple spreads over an area of 6700 sq.m, consisting of 13 halls carefully spread out over a huge compound. The present temple buildings were constructed in the Qing Dynasty in 1734.

In its third courtyard is the Terrace to Mourn the Loyal and three tablets dating from the Tang Dynasty and three incomplete ones from the Liao Dynasty. The inscriptions on the tablets and pillars can still be deciphered despite erosion. It is also unique in that it has a Vairocana Hall, formerly the hall in commemoration of the famous Tang Dynasty Monk Xuanzang who went to India to learn Buddhism. The hall houses a five-in-one bronze statue of Vairocana seating on a lotus throne and facing south, north, east, west and the centre, cast in the Ming Dynasty.