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Baotong monastery

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    宝通禅寺

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    【2010-07-08 09:04:38】

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     Baotong monastery is located on southern side of Hongshan Hill in Wuchang District. Covering 100,000 square metres, it is one of the four famous Buddhist Woods in the city. It is also one of hte key open monastery ratified by the State Council and the preserved antiques units of Hubei Province.
     The long history of the monastery dates from the Southern Dynasty under the reing of Liusong(420-479),with the name of Dongshan monastery.After being renamed as Mituo monastery in the Zhengguan period, Tang Dynasty(627-649),and as Chongning wanshou monastery in Duanping period, Southern Song Dynasty(1234-1236),it became Baotong monastey in Chenghua Period, Ming Dynasty(1485).
     Entering in gate, you find yourself before Buddhisbt monk Bridge above a free-setting pond. Then you pass by Bell tower and maitreya hall and come to Daxiong hall through prajna gate.You can also go through guest room, meditation room, jade Buddha hall, and reach scripture house,with vegetarian hall and incense room in the east, and samgharama hall and Buddhist  abbot  in the west. When you  climb  the hill behind the magnificent buildings, you will see ten thousand buddhas house and fajie hall in the east, hua yan pavilion and huayan cave in the west, and  also  Baotong pagoda high up on the top of the hill. All the cornices, upturned  eaves,colorful paints and elaborate carving lend a solemn and antique apperance to the whole monastery which is shadowed by the green pines and  cyprsses on the undulating hill.
     Baotong monastery belonged to the Linji sect of the zen until 57th  year of Qianlong period,Qing dynasty(1792).when Jueyin master  was invited here to be the buddhist abbot, and  then was transmitted to the Caodong sect, enjoying the honor of "Little Jinshan hill".The monastery  preserves many valuable antiques, such as the bell made in Song Dynasty, the stone lion  in Ming dynasty, the scripture  in Qing dynasty and huayan scripture written in blood. As it says,"Strage stones teem at the top of  Hongshan hill " and around the pagoda, it is dotted  as eight sceneries:East crag,Cloud gate,drinking cup,green shield,rosy cloud, lion mountain,immortel being stone and the stone inscripted with "寿"(a chinese character meaning longevity).
     Baotong pagoda was built in the Zhiyuan period, Yuan dynasty(1280-1291) and  then named as linji pagoda, made of brick and stone,it is 45.6 metres high, with seven stories and eight sides.One can enter inside from the arch door down  and wind  up on the stairs to top.
     Wuchang Buddism academy, established by Taixu master,  a great buddhist master in modern china. was in 1994 reopened in Baotong monastery. With the classes for monks and nuns,it is the only one in the midsouthern china for intermediate buddhism studenst.
     The vegetarian dish in the baotong monastey enjoys a long history of one thousand and five hundred years,It is famous and unique for the "three virtues and six flavors" with the broad and exquisite selection of  material and painstakin way of cooking.The vegitarian  restaurant has been innovated recently  and  promises with excellent food and services for the customers.
     Baotong monastey ,shining brightly like a pearl,invites warmly the sight-seeing of the tourists local and abroad.

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