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White Horse Temple

The Baima Temple (White Horse Temple) in Luoyang, Henan Province was the first Buddhist Temple in China.

Established by the Han Dynasty in 68 AD when Buddhism started to spread, this temple is believe to be the first Buddhist temple built by the government in China. White Horse Temple was regarded as the "originating court" and the "cradle of Chinese Buddhism" by the Buddhist disciples. Since its establishment, White Horse Temple has experienced vicissitudes of centuries.

Baima Temple has kept more than 40 upright stone tablets through the ages since the Tang dynasty with the Notes of Luojing Baima Temple Originating Court handwritten by calligrapher Zhao Mengfu of the Yuan dynasty being the most precious. Located about 200 meters away from the southeast of the gate of Baoma Temple is Qiyun Tower. A wood tower was formerly built by Li Cunxu in the Later Tang Dynasty during the Five Dynasties, later burnt to ashes. A square brick tower was built on the original site in the Dading 15th year (1175) during Jin Dynasty has 13 stories in total, about 24 meters high, this is present Qiyun Tower. The Tower is unique in style, of great artistic value, and one of the few ancient buildings of the Jin dynasty in central China.


The White Horse Temple
By Frank Fan Sheng Guang

The White Horse temple is located in the east of LuoYang, which is about 12Km from the city proper. Here you can see the magnificent buildings; you can hear the sound from the bell Tower. It is a peaceful place for the Buddhist.

The White Horse temple was the first Buddhism temple built by the Emperor after the Buddhism introduced into China. Now it has the history over 1900 years old. In 64A.D. the Ming Di Emperor in the Eastern Han Dynasty sent envois to study Buddhism to western Regions.In the invitation by the envois, the famous monks NieYuTeng and ZuFaLan from India come to Luoyang, with the Buddhist scriptures carried by white horses. In 68 A.D. The Han MingDi ordered to have the temple built, in order to commeriate what the White horses did, so the temple was named White Horse Temple. After the temple was complished, the famous monks from India. NieYuTeng and Zufalan translated the first Buddhist scripture titled “Forty-two chapter scripture” in china. After that, the White Horse Temple had become the Buddhist activity center in china gradually. At the same time, also came to the White Horse temple to study Buddhism. In the Northern Wei Dynasty, more than 3000 monks from the West Regions came to LuoYang to exchange their understanding of the Buddhism. Because of the building of the white Horse temple, the Buddhism had deeply influenced the Chinese people’s thinking and their ideas. Even for their morality. The White Horse temple has been the “Mecca” for the East Asian areas for 1000 years.

The White Horse temple is facing to the south with south-north line as the axis. It is a typical Chinese’s architecture in which you can see the Entrance. TianWang Hall great Buddha hall great heroes hall. Reception Hall. Bilu Hall. On both sides of the entrance there are tombs for the famous monks of NieYuTang and ZuFaLan. There is a Thai style building in the temple is which you can a seven-meter gold-plated from the Thailand. In the south-east direction of the temple, you can see a pogada which was built in 69A.D. And rebuilt in 1175A.D. the style of the pagoda is similar with the Small Wild Goose Pagoda in Xi’an.

The time-Heated White horse now takes a new look after the open-door policy and the Religion police was accomplished. Now the temple has been enlarged, you can see the newly-built archway. Stone moon bridge and trees. Now the Buddhism study center has been built in the temple. In the last ten years the White Horse temple had received hundred of Buddhist group and millions of visitors both from home and abroad. Now the White Horse is a four-star tourist site in china. There, you can also see the newly-built Indian style Buddhist Hall built by the India government which covers an area of 3450 square meters. It will open to the public by the end of 2008. (Frank)



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