The West Garden Temple
The West Garden Temple is located to the west of Suzhou. It consists of the Commandments Temple and the West Garden. The West Garden was originally built in the Yuan Dynasty, called "the Guiyuan Temple". In the eighth year of the Ming Dynasty, the monk Maolin changed name into "the Commandments Temple" in order to expand "commandments", popularly called "the West Garden".
With neat arrangement, grand halls and solemn Buddhist statues, the West Garden Temple is one of the ancient temples south of the Yangtze River. Its main buildings are: the Heavenly King’s hall, the Grand Precious Hall, the Hall of Arhats, the Hall of Avalokitesvara and the Buddhist Sutra Building.
To the west of the Hall of Arhats is the West Garden which is the ruins of Xu Tai in the Ming Dynasty. The whole garden centers on the Pond for Freeing Captive Animals. The Mid-lake Pavilion stands erect in the center of the pond. In the pond there is a big soft-shelled turtle that is bred in the Ming Dynasty. Visitors like to take a rest leaning on the railings and throw food to seduce the turtle to come up.