Dabeiyuan Monastery is located on the Tianwei Road in Hebei District of Tianjin City. It is so named after the statue of the Daci Dabei Kwan-yin it houses. The monastery is now the largest, oldest and best-preserved one in Tianjin.
Dabeiyuan Monastery was originally built in the end of the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Its golden age was in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). It was damaged and renovated for several times during the vicissitude of the history.
The present monastery, covering an area of 10,600 sq.m. (about 2.62 acres), is composed of two parts: the West Monastery and the East Monastery. The west one was built in 1669 in the Qing Dynasty, while the east called New Temple was built in 1940 by the monk Long Xian.
The West Monastery is the site of Tianjin Buddhist Institute, including the Wenwu Hall and Buddhist Abbot Hall. And the main part of the Dabeiyuan Monastery is a series of Buddhist architecture in the East Monastery - the Dabei Hall, Grand Hall, Tianwang Hall and Dizang Hall.
Among those, the Grand Hall lies in the center of the monastery, featuring hundreds of statues made in Chinese ancient times with bronze, iron, wood and stone. Demonstrating the care and the precision of the sculptors, the statues are exquisite and artistic. Included are statues of Sakyamuni, Kwan-yin of One Thousand Hands, Maitreya and the Eighteen Arhats of the Buddha.
Dabei Hall enshrines the statue of Kwan-yin. This statue of Kwan-yin is very special with 24 arms and a pair of eyes which can perceive the front as well as both the left and the right. The wall inside Dabei Hall is painted with colorful murals, describing the life experience of Sakyamuni.
Tianjin Dabeiyuan Monastery once housed an invaluable Buddhist treasure – a piece of head bone relics of Xuanzang, an eminent monk in the Tang Dynasty (618-907). In 1956, the Buddhist relic was sent to India as a gift to embody the friendship between India and China. Now, without the top treasure, the monastery is still very popular among disciples and tourists, especially on Buddhist festivals. In addition, various tasty vegetarian foods are available there.
Location: No.40Tianwei Road, Hebei District, Tianjin City
Entrance Fee: RMB 10
Opening Hours: 09:00 - 11:20; 14:00 - 16:30
Transportation: No.2, 12, 604, 659, 671 and get off at the Jingangqiao Bus Stop
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