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The Tiantong Temple
Tiantong Temple, 25 km to the east of Ningbo, is the No. 2 mountain among the five Chinese Zen Buddhist School Mountains. It is often referred to as the "Dongnan Foguo(Buddhist Country in Southeast China)". The temple was built in 300 A.D. so it is over 1660 years old. It is built on a mountain range with its ladder-layout. The temple has more than 20 ancient buildings including Tianwang Dian (Hall of Heavenly King), Fatang (House of Buddhist Texts), Xianjue Tang (House of Foresight), Luohan Tang (Arahat House), Tower House, Yushu Lou ( House of Imperial Inscriptions ). The temple originally had 999 rooms, 730 of which are left, now occupying 58,000 square meters. Its grandeur is rare in China. Tiantong Temple is situated in the national Forest Park of Tiantong, therefore it is surrounded by thick woods and tall trees and bamboo in the mountain ranges with ten scenic spots. In the temple there are the Imperial Inscriptions and Steles by Emperor Shunzhi, Emperor Kangxi and Emperor Yongzheng in Qing Dynasty.

As a holy place of Buddhism, Tiantong Temple is not only an important temple of Linji Sect but also the father of Soto (Caotong in Chinese Sect) in Japan with 8 million disciples in 33,000 temples. It plays an important role in the cultural exchanges between China and Japan and it is well known in the southeast Asian countries.

Tiantong Temple is a major Buddhist Temple in China and of provincial-level protection.

Ticket: 3 yuan (US$0.4)

Transportation: Taking long-distance bus or mini-bus at eastern bus station (Qiche Dongzhan) of Ningbo and get off at Tiantong-si station.

(china.org.cn March 27, 2003)

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