No. 57 & 58: Dizang and Banruo Temples, Changchun, Jilin

(This article was published in the Shenzhen Daily on May 27, 2013.)

The small Dizang Temple (地藏寺) in Changchun, Jilin (吉林, 长春市), was under
construction when I visited (and there wouldn't have been much to see even if
it were complete!) Anyway, this bell hanging in the driveway was attractive.
August 25, 2011 - After my brief visit to Haerbin, a southbound train took me to Changchun. The capital city of Jilin province is home to two temples on my list, one very small and one fairly large.

Little Dizang Temple, named for Kshitigarbha Bodhisattva, is so small that the staff of the hotel where I stayed just a few blocks away didn't even know of its existence.

Alas, when I arrived, the temple was badly torn up for reconstruction. The main hall had been stripped to the walls, and the nuns (for this is a nunnery, not a monastery) were holding services in a makeshift room in another building.

The larger Banruo Temple is located a couple of kilometers to the southwest along a main street. Like Jile Temple in Harbin, it was built by Master Tanxu in the early 1920s.

In contrast to the quiet at Dizang Temple (saving the construction noise), Banruo was a lively place on a sunny Friday morning, with vendors and beggars swarming the main gate, and a sermon by the temple's abbot piped over the grounds. Scores of worshippers sat listening quietly in their brown robes in various corners, while an equal army of volunteers bustled around placing flowers and incense, as well as sweeping, dusting, and cleaning windows.

A monumental statue of Guanyin stands to one side of the main axis, a feature I found in most of the temples I visited in the northeast. Another statue of the same bodhisattva, but this one with a thousand arms, stands in the rear of the main hall.

The temple is a pleasant, well-kept establishment with the standard features found in most temples.

GPS Info:

Map: (Click it! You'll see both temples on one map.)

View Changchun Temples in a larger map


More pictures can be found here (Dizang) and here (Banruo).

A nun seen through the torn-up Main Hall of Dizang Temple, Changchun
A monumental Guanyin on the grounds of Banruo Temple, Changchun
A bronze statue of the Thousand-Armed Guanyin in the rear of the Main Hall at Banruo Temple
BONUS IMAGE: The same giant Guanyin above, rendered as a vintage postcard.

The Guanyin (观音) standing in the first courtyard at Banruo
Temple (般若寺) in Changchun, Jilin (吉林, 长春市), was typical
of those in the temples I visited in northeastern China (东北).

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