Gansu province is famous for its rich and varied resources for tourism development -- with all kinds of topography resources except oceans and reefs. Gansu is known as the birthplace of Chinese civilization, the museum of natural wonders, the garden of folk customs as well as the favorable destination of leisure tourism. Here lists top famous temples in Gansu Province.
No.1 : Faquan Tmple in Jiuquan City
Faquan Temple is located in Daba Village, Dongwan Township, Jingyuan County, Baiyin City, Gansu Province. Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism are integrated in this very one temple. What impresses the tourists is the combination of the architecture, statues, gardens, literature and art in the temple.
The total area of Faquan Temple scenery area is 3.86 square kilometres. The building area of this temple is 5,200 square meters. The temple is composed of north part and south part. Built on the slope of a cliff, it looks very majestic. There are more than 60 grotto palaces, such as Gate to the Monastery, the Honorific Arch over the gateway, Kumbu Stupa, Hall of Five Hundred Arhats, Jade Emperor Cave, Queen Mother Palace, Eight Immortals’ Palace, Chamber of Cultural Prosperity, Tianfeng Pagoda and Kuixing Tower. The temple is regarded by Buddhists as a good place for self cultivation and spiritual improvement. It has been renowned as “Faquan, where the Holy spirits impart truth and exert power". Pengze, minister of Military Ministry of the Ming Dynasty, studied in this place. In modern times, Zhang Daqian, Yu Youren, Heyu and some other cultural celebrities visited the ancient temple and left here with their own calligraphy.
No.2: Longquan Temple in Pingliang
Built on the side of Mount Fengshan, Dragon Spring Temple is about 2km north of Chongxin County, Pingliang City with an altitude of 1215 meters. The water seeping from the mountain rocks forms two springs, one is named Nonglu Spring, and the other Guanzhu Spring. On the steep side where Guanzhu Spring flows down there grows a thousand-year-old cypress, resembling a flying dragon (in Chinese “Long") and harmonizing with the spring (in Chinese “quan"), hence the Temple’s name Longquan.
The Dragon Spring Temple is typical of a low mountain and ravine landscape where there are green mountains, crystal-clear spring water, towering cypresses as well as shaded forests, demonstrating both the exquisite natural beauty unique in Southern China and a typical landscape in Loess Plateau. The spring stream flows all year around. The scenic area is renowned as a “nature-gifted bonsai garden" of eastern Gansu Province for its value in sightseeing, and cultural and scientific exploration.
No.3: Labrang Monastery in Xiahe
Labrang Monastery lies about 1 km west from Xiahe County in the Gannan Prefecture, Gansu Province. A propitious place in the hearts of the Tibetans, it stands by the Daxia River and faces the Dragon Mountain. The monastery is renowned for its rich Tibetan culture, imposing Buddhist structures, unique Tibetan food, and the long corridor of prayer wheels. Since the famous Chinese movie "World Without Thieves" was screened in 2004, the Labrang Monastery has become known to visitors as the film’s shooting place.
Labrang Monastery is a holy place where Buddhism followers learn the essence of Buddhism. In its heyday, there were over four thousand monks. As in the past, every day early in the morning, monks chanted sutras together. The Labrang Monastery holds seven large-scale assemblies a year, with the Summons Ceremony in the first lunar month and the Buddhist Doctrine Explaining Ritual in the seventh lunar month being the grandest ones. The former one lasts for fifteen days from the3rd – 17th in the lunar January.
No.4: Weiwu Confucian Temple
Weiwu Confucian Temple, also called Wenmiao Temple, is located Weiwu City as well as the largest and best-preserved temple in Gansu Province dedicated to the great ancient educator Confucius.
This ancient complex dates from the Ming Dynasty having been established in 1439 on instructions from the reigning emperor and with the strong backing of public subscription. The construction of the original temple took just two years but various extensions have been added over succeeding centuries.The complex covers an area of a little over 1,500 square meters and is the largest and best-preserved temple dedicated to Confucius in Gansu Province.
The part on the eastern side is called the Wenchang Temple and is accessed via the Mountain Gate (Shanmen). Here you will find a stage for dramatic performances. On the left and right hand sides of the Temple are the shrines of Master Niu and Master Liu respectively
Zhangye Wooden Pogota Temple,located in the south street of Zhangye County Government, the present Wooden Pagoda has been well kept since 1926, which is regarded as one of Zhangye City's 'Five Elements' Pagodas. (Metal, wood, water, fire and earth are the 'five elements' in ancient Chinese philosophy and fortune-telling.). The Wooden Pogota Temple was built in early 557-588 A.D. of the Northern Zhou Dynasty. It was Records show that the pagoda had been renovated several times during the dynasties of Sui (581-618A.D.), the Tang (618-907 A.D.), the Ming (1368-1644 A.D.) and the Qing (1644-1911 A.D.).
The pagoda is actually a nine-storey building with a height of 32.8 meters. It has a unique octagon shaped structure in each tier with eight dragonhead woodcarvings in each angle, a bead in the mouth, and a wind-bell below the neck.
No.6: Giant Buddha Temple in Zhangye
Giant Buddha Temple, known as Dafo Temple, is located in the southwest corner of Zhangye of Gansu Province. the Giant Buddha Temple, , is the largest architectural relic in Gansu Province of the Western Xia (1038-1227) period. China's largest reclining Buddha is well preserved in this temple. The Zhangye Museum is also located here. Midway in the Hexi Corridor along the Silk Road lies the historic city of Zhangye, the centerpiece of which is the mysterious Giant Buddha Temple.
Legend has it that a chancellor named Wei Mie of the Western Xia period ordered workers to dig into the ground to 1 to 1.3 meters deep to carve a reclining Buddha to be covered with glazed color tiles. The Giant Buddha Temple was built in 1098 to house the Buddha. In its 900 years the temple was restored many times during the Ming and Qing dynasties.
No.7: Fuxi Temple in Tianshui
According to Chinese mythology Fuxi was the first of the three gods in ancient China. The myth states that Fu Xi married his sister Nv Wa, and together they made the human race and taught them to fish. Hence, Fuxi is called the God of Fishery and Husbandry.
Fuxi Temple is located at the Fuxi Road, Tianshui City of Gansu Province. It was first completed in 1484 and has been restored nine times. Originally, it took up an area of 13000 square meters . Today, the locals come here to worship Fu Xi on every January 16 (Fu Xi’s birthday) according to Chinese lunar calendar.