Wind Hole Temple (Fengxuesi 风穴寺)
Wind Hole Temple is located in the north-eastern part of Ruzhou City. It’s part of the scenic area of Wind Hole Mountain which covers 48 square kilometers. The Wind Hole Temple is surrounded by other Wind Hole landmarks such as Wind Hole Mountain, Yuhuang Mountain, Shilou Peak, and the Big and Small Wind Holes.
It is one of the oldest temples in China and the construction of which began in the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-In the mountains to the east of it, there are two big and two small holes that suddenly blow wind through them. This phenomenon has given the temple its name — Wind Hole Temple. It is one of the oldest temples in China, having been built during the Northern Wei Dynasty.
The temple faces south-west. Although the temple is located in the north, it is different from most northern temples. It was built by conforming to the contours of the land. The temple was built in different eras of Chinese history, but it houses over 100 architectural styles. The temple is thought to be the “museum of ancient architecture” because it represents so many styles. The Wind Hole Temple possesses three national treasures. The Qizu Pagoda, the Bell Tower, and the Buddha Hall are all architectural wonders of the ancient era.
- The Qizu Pagoda was built in 738. It is one of the only six Tang pagodas still standing today. It measures 24 meters tall and has nine layers. The tower is shaped like a parabola, which symbolizes the infinite wisdom of Buddha. The pagoda was built to commemorate the famous monk Zhen because he made great contributions to the temple.
- The Bell Tower was built in the Song Dynasty, where an incredibly heavy bell hangs, weighing over 6 tons. It’s so heavy that it can’t even be lifted by crane.
- The Buddha Hall is built on a brick platform 15 meters high. According to the developers, the design of the building is inspired by the wings of an eagle. It looks like a giant bird about to take flight. Other buildings in the complex besides these three treasures are equally decorated and elegant.
Usually, when you visit a historical temple, you will see a bunch of pagodas scattered around. They are called the pagoda forest. They are the tomb pagodas of monks and the temples’ relics. The longer history of a temple has, and the larger the number of pagodas in a forest is. The number of pagodas in a temple varies greatly depending on its location. In China, there are several famous pagoda forests located in Shaolin Temple, Wind Hole Temple, Lingya Temple, Qingtong Gorge, Shentong Temple and Qiyan Temple.
The Pagoda Forest in Wind Hole Temple is second only to the Pagoda Forest in Shaolin Temple. It is located on the mountain slope outside the temple. The pagodas are scattered everywhere; there are 83 brick pagodas that were built between the 13th and 20th centuries.