No. 105: Guiyuan Temple, Wuhan, Hubei

(This article was published in the Shenzhen Daily on September 8, 2014.)

The Library (经堂) at Guiyuan Temple (归元寺), Wuhan, Hubei (湖北, 武汉市), is imposing.

August 4, 2012 - With today's temple, we start another trip, one that took me through the provinces of Hubei, Jiangxi, and Hunan.

I started by taking the then-new fast train to Wuhan, Central China's most populous city.

My hotel, as I discovered, was less than fifty meters from the front gate of the first place on my list, Guiyuan Temple.

I had actually been to the temple once before. On a quick business trip in January, 2007, I took a taxi to view the front gate after hours. Noticing numbers of people entering and leaving a side gate, I inquired at a flower shop across the street and discovered that the great Master Changming had just died, and devotees were coming to pay their respects. With my camera hanging around my neck, though, I must have looked like a tourist, for a guard denied me entry.

The temple has an interesting founding legend. It is said that two brothers who had become monks came here early in the Qing Dynasty, and learned that the area where the temple is now located had recently been the site of a great battle between Ming and Qing forces. With the help of the local people, they gathered the remains of dead warriors, buried them, and built a hut on the site where they recited prayers for them. This was the beginning of Guiyuan ("Paying Back") Temple.

Key features of the temple include the impressive 500 Arhats' Hall, a fine vegetarian restaurant, and the recently-added colossal "double-sided" statue of Guanyin, with another new hall being built nearby. The classic Sutra Repository is also not to be missed.

GPS Info:
  • 30.5457, 114.26013


(Regarding problems with this map, please see the CHINA section on this page.)


More pictures can be found here.

The front gate of busy Guiyuan Temple

One of the "free-life" ponds in the courtyard of the temple

A new statue of Guanyin faces in two directions; another hall is rising nearby

The Sutra Repository

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