Qita Temple


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Five km east of downtown Ningbo sits the Qita Temple (Seven-Pagoda Temple), originally the Dongjin Monastery (later renamed Xixin Temple) founded in 858, or the 12th year of the Dazhong reign of the Tang Dynasty. During the Song Dynasty the temple was known as the "Chongshou Temple," a name that was briefly replaced by "Wanshou Palace" (sounding like a Taoist establishment) before being restored. During the Ming Dynasty it was once called the "Botuo Temple." By the Qing Dynasty, it was renamed after the seven pagodas engraved in a brick engraving on the façade of its gate hall, a name that has remained. The temple's more than 1,000 years of ups and downs culminated in its destruction at the hands of the Heavenly Kingdom peasant uprising.

The temple as it stands today is the result of reconstruction during the Guangxu reign of the Qing Dynasty, an immense complex of lofty buildings including a Hall of Deva-kings, a Trinity Hall, a Mahavira Hall, a Jade Buddha Chamber, a Huayan Chamber, a Scripture Repository, and a Cloud-and-Water Hall. What is special about Seven-Pagoda Temple is that its Mahavira Hall is the domain of Guanyin with 1,000 Hands instead of Sakyamuni, and because of this it used to be called the "Lesser Putuo Temple." The importance of this temple is evidenced by the fact that pilgrims make it a point to stop and pay homage at the Seven-Pagoda Temple before crossing the sea to visit the island known as Mount Putuo.

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