1000-year-old Rock Buddha Temple
Rock Buddha Temple lies in Town Fengqiao, a town in southeast Nanhu
District. Town Fengqiao is outstanding for its long history and profound
culture. Town Fengqiao was previously known as Fengjiaqiao. During
the 8th year of Emperor Xianfeng's Reign in Qing Dynasty (A.D. 1858),
Townsmen called Wu Jiaju, Xu Donghuang and so on raised funds to repair
it and renamed it as Fengjieqiao. Since then, the reputation of Fengqiao
is widely spread. In ancient time, Fengqiao belonged to Village Yongfeng,
County Jiaxing and is 15 km away from the urban district. It is always
popular with poets due to attractive sceneries and sincere locals.
Starting from late Qing Dynasty, Fengqiao Gradually became a key town
and economic center in southeast Jiaxing. During the Anti-Japanese
War, the tenth district of Nationalist Party Anti-Japanese Guerrilla
government and County Jiaxing Government was headquartered here and
led the whole county to fight against Japanese.
Rock Buddha Temple lies in Town Fengqiao, Nanhu District, Jiaxing.
The surrounding watercourse plus small bridges over flowing stream
constitute its elegant temperament characteristic of regions south
of the Yangtze River. The location of the Temple is also known as
Plum Blossom Continent. It is divided into five pieces looking like
a plum blossom and this is how its name originated. These 'petals'
are surrounded by running water; therefore water became the soul of
Rock Buddha Temple. You cannot fully enjoy the sceneries in Rock Buddha
Temple without seeing the architectures. Only with an understanding
of architectural layout along with a view of ancient landscapes, will
you form a more vivid image of it.
Prehistoric cultural treasures stored
Rock Buddha Temple is one kilometer north of Town Fengqiao. According
to current geomorphic conditions and unearthed cultural relics, like
most prehistoric sites, Plum Blossom Continent Region must have gone
through a developed culture period.
First, geographically, South Jiaxing where Rock Buddha Temple located
is higher compared with district such as Jiashan and Pinghu. It contains
numbers of mounds. For instance, there is White Grave Mound in the
east of Rock Buddha Temple. There are Liu Mound and White Tiger Mound
in the north plus Sheng Mound and Banshan in the south. Moreover,
these mounds are not individual mounds but are connected into a cluster
of mounds. For instance, White Grave Mound refers to general term
of several high mounds centering the main mound as core. These groups
of mounds have canal surrounded and water network covered. From the
sight of archeology, all these conditions indicate that it is relic
of prehistoric ancient village. Based on the analysis of experts,
these mounds and canals aren't naturally formed but exhibiting many
artificial marks which are typical earthwork pyramids in archeological
sense. From unearthed cultural relics, White Grave Mound has unearthed
relics from Majiabang Culture dating back to Spring and Autumn Warring
States Period. Thus, there is no doubt that there are human beings
living around Rock Buddha Temple. Judging from the size and coverage
of the construction, the population of fossil human living here in
prehistoric times is large.
Second, these clusters of mounds are within 2.5 kilometers away from
Rock Buddha Temple. That is to say, Rock Buddha Temple is seated in
the center of this prehistoric cultural site. To be more specific,
the geographic and geomorphic conditions of Plum Blossom Continent
are similar to White Grave Mound and Liu Mound. Furthermore, its characteristics
of earthwork pyramid are more noticeable. Concerning to unearthed
cultural relics, jade wares belongs to Liangzhu Culture have been
discovered in Plum Blossom Continent. It is thus clear that Rock Buddha
Temple Region has human living here four or five thousand years ago.
They hunted here, fished here and made a bonfire here, lightening
Jiaxing five thousand years ago!
It is sure that there are prehistoric cultural treasures lying under
the Plum Blossom Continent.
Architecture of Rock Buddha Temple
Temple is one of China Buddha constructions. In the southern and northern
dynasties era, there were massive constructions of temples taking
place. According to the record of 'Luoyang Buddhist Temple', there
existed more than one thousand temples inside and outside Luoyang,
the capital of Northern Wei Dynasty. Tang Dynasty poet, Du Mu, exaggerated
in his poem the number of temples in this area by estimating here
were 480 temples, a picture of the prosperous Buddhism in the history.
The great amount of temples didn't affect their architectural style.
The form of them remains consistent. In the middle of Rock Buddha
Temple's frontage, there is gate to monastery. Inside it, there stand
bell tower and drum tower respectively on the left and right. The
Hall of Heavenly Kings is in front of it. Inside the hall, there exhibit
statues of the Four Guardians. Behind it, there are the Mahavira Hall
and Scriptorium in turn. Monk room and abstinence hall are placed
on both sides of centric road. The Mahavira Hall is the most glorious
construction among Buddhist architectures. The Mahavira refers to
No matter Rock Buddha Temple or other temples, no matter their scale
or location, the architectural layout follows certain rules. It is
in a square shape, organized alongside the axial formed by the Entrance
Hall, Tianwang Hall, Main Hall, Main Buddha Palace, Preaching Hall
and depository of Buddhist books, precisely in symmetry. The construction
back and front are connected in harmony. The beauty of Rock Buddha
Temple can be found among the connection of pine and cypress, streaming
creeks, palace and gallery. Wandering around this assorted combination,
you can fell the unprecedented peace, harmony and elegance.