No. 60: Banruo Temple, Shenyang, Liaoning

(This article was published in the Shenzhen Daily on June 10, 2013.)

Worshippers in front of the Main Hall (大雄宝殿) at Banruo Temple (般若寺), Shenyang, Liaoning (辽宁, 沈阳市)
August 27, 2011 - I arrived in my Shenyang hotel after midnight, so I slept in a bit the next morning, then spent a while trying to find an alternative to that night's sleeper train to Chengde. No luck.

All of this caused me to arrive at my first (of three!) temples, another Banruo ("Prajna," or Wisdom) Temple, at nearly noon.

Fortunately, there wasn't a lot to see. The temple had only three halls on the main axis. As usual for such a small temple, these were, front to back: the Hall of the Heavenly Kings; the Main (or Buddha) Hall; and the Sutra Repository, also called the Scripture Library.

The first of these has the standard figures: the Laughing Buddha (Milefo, or Maitreya Buddha) front and center, with Weituo (Veda or Skanda) at his back; and the two of them flanked by the four kings or "devarajas," two on a side.

In the Main Hall Shakyamuni, the historical Buddha, is in the center, with the Medicine Buddha on one side, and Amitabha Buddha ("Amitofo," one of the most popular Buddhas in China) on the other. This is a common configuration.

As usual, the last hall was closed. This hall would be used for lectures downstairs, and have books and temple treasures upstairs.

The surrounding buildings are used for offices, dormitories, and dining. One nice touch here was that, in the east courtyard, the area where people usually stand was given over to a small but pleasant flower and vegetable garden.

Leaving this temple, I continued on a short walk to Ci'en Temple, the next one on my list, as well as a small "bonus" temple.

GPS Info:

Map: (This map shows all three temples I saw in Shenyang, including the ones in this article.)

View Shenyang Temples in a larger map


Some of these pictures with more complete captions can be found here.

The small Main Hall at Banruo Temple, Shenyang, stands at the back of a leafy courtyard (postcard above)
A side courtyard is given over to flowers and vegetables
This beautiful small hall stands at the back of the garden-filled courtyard

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