Hongluo (Red Snail）Temple is located in Huairou District, 57 km to the north of downtown Beijing. One of the important temples of the Pure Land Sect of Buddhism in history, it was a place that held a great appeal to monks and laymen to come for Buddhist scriptures.
Originally called Great Brightness Temple (Damingsi) when it was built in 348 A.D., it was renamed Temple of Safeguarding the Country and Adding Fortune Temple (Huguo Zifu Chansi) in the reign period of Emperor Zhengtong of Ming Dynasty (1436-1449). Legend has it that many years ago two giant red snails were found in a pool on the hill behind the temple emitting strange lights at night, and because of it the local villagers renamed and the hill and the temple Red Snail Hill and Red Snail Temple.
Monk Jixing (1741-1810), the 12th Master of the Pure Land Sect, died in the temple at the age of 70 and was buried in its Stupa Yard. More than 100 beads of granulated ashes and his teeth (known as Buddhist relics) were found in the stupa.
The temple is also famed for two gingko trees, one male and one female, in front of the Mahavira Hall. Both over 1,000 years old, the female tree does not bloom but bears fruit in autumn, while the male tree blooms in spring but does not bear fruit.