Timeline of Rock Buddha Temple history
Rock Buddha Temples was established at the Southern Dynasties.
Contemporary temple includes the Xingshan Temple nearby. 'New Records
of Jiaxing' says it is built in the Southern Dynasties, having a history
of 1500 years.
the 2nd year of Emperor Zhide's Reign in Tang Dynasty (A.D 757):
placed four Rock Buddha at Temple foundations.
the 1st year of Emperor Tiansheng's Reign in Song Dynasty (A.D 1023):
Rock Buddha Courtyard was renamed as Baosheng Courtyard.
the 15th year of Emperor Hongwu's Reign in Ming Dynasty (A.D 1382):
renamed as Rock Buddha Temple.
During Emperor Zhengtong's Reign Ming Dynasty (A.D 1436- A.D 1449):
Monk, Zijing rebuilt Rock Buddha Temple.
the 42nd year of Emperor Jiajing's Reign in Ming Dynasty (A.D 1563):
Monks, Yuanfang and so on rebuilt the Rock Buddha Temple.
the 50th year of Emperor Kangxi's Reign in Qing Dynasty (A.D 1711):
Monk, Yiban rebuilt the Great Warrior Hall.
During Emperor Qianlong's Reign in Qing Dynasty (A.D 1736-1795):
rebuilt the main hall.
the 13th year of Emperor Jiaqing's Reign in Qing Dynasty (A.D 1808):
rebuilt the gate to a monastery.
During Emperor Daoguang's Reign in Qing Dynasty (A.D 1821-1850):
rebuilt the Hall of Heavenly Kings.
the 9th year of Emperor Xianfeng's Reign in Qing Dynasty (A.D 1859):
Monk, Xitang rebuilt the scripture stored room.
the 10th year of Emperor Xianfeng's Reign in Qing Dynasty (A.D 1860):
the main hall was damaged.
the 8th year of Emperor Tongzhi's Reign in Qing Dynasty (A.D 1869):
townsmen raised funds to repair Xiaoshan Gate, Xiancan Temple and
the 13rd year of Emperor Tongzhi's Reign in Qing Dynasty (A.D 1874):
repaired the Great Warrior Hall.
Rock Buddha Temple already had great influence when it was Song Dynasty.
The Emperor Tiansheng of Song entitled it Baosheng Countyard in 1023
when was the first year of his reign. This new name contained the
meaning of protecting Holy Spirit thus Rock Buddha Temple carried
blessing of emperor. After that, Rock Buddha Temple was enshrined
in a book of Jiang Zhiqi, who was a famous state minister, by himself.
From then on, Rock Buddha Temple began its destiny with emperors and
loyalty. Due to history, Jiang Zhiqi has never come to Jiaxing. The
reason why he can record Rock Buddha Temple must have connection with
the entitlement of Emperor Tiansheng. The earliest poem describing
Rock Buddha Temple, named 'Baosheng Countyard', is written by the
contemporary poetry called Chen Shunyu after his visit. .By comparison,
other temples in Jiaxing, for example, Jingyan Temple and Lengyan
Temple, were represented in poems later.
In Yuan Dynasty, 'Recording of Jiaxing until Yuan Dynasty' written
by Xu Shuo included the description of Rock Buddha Temple. It said,
the Baosheng Countyard is 13.5 kilometers away from the county. Xu
Shuo verified that at the 2nd year of Emperor Zhide's Reign in Tang
Dynasty, temple's foundation was completed and Rock Buddha Courtyard
was built since there are four Rock Buddha placed. He also said that
in the may of the 1st year of Emperor Tiansheng's Reign in Song Dynasty,
the temple was awarded current name. This shows the name of 'Baosheng
Courtyard' was still in use in Yuan Dynasty. In the late Yuan Dynasty,
battles frequently happened in Jiaxing region. Rock Buddha Temple
was severely damaged.
In the 15th year of Emperor Hongwu's Reign in Ming Dynasty (A.D 1382),
the temple was officially named as Rock Buddha Temple. In a consequence,
its name, no matter folk or official, got formulized. During Emperor
Zhengtong's Reign in Ming Dynasty (A.D 1436- A.D 1449), Monk Zijing
rebuilt Rock Buddha Temple. In addition, he explored eight sights,
they were Ironwood, Bodhi Tree, Jian Spring, Four Buddha Stone, Plum
Blossom Continent, Heliotrope Pool, Fragrant Flower Bridge and Mount
White Cloud. Since then, Rock Buddha Temple attracted numbers of visitors.
Speaking of the most well-known temple in Jiaxing, people will think
nowhere but Rock Buddha Temple because of its popularity and natural
beauty. Throughout one hundred year after Emperor Zhengtong's Reigh
in Ming Dynasty, The eight sights in Rock Buddha Temple got obsolescent.
In the 42nd year of Emperor Jiajing's Reign in Ming Dynasty (A.D 1563),
Monk Yuanfang and so on redecorated the Rock Buddha Temple. The renewed
eight sights were popular with tourists again. During late Ming Dynasty,
Monk Yunchong built meditation room and repaired main hall, Langfang
Great Mercy Hall, Jialan Hall. As the first person realizing the importance
of 'Jiaxing Sutra' and store it after Master Zibo in Jiaxing's Buddhistm,
he rebuilt the scripture stored room in order to store 'Jiaxing Sutra'.
Consequently, in late Ming Dynasty, Rock Buddha Temple won great reputation
as Emei and Putuo.
In late Ming and early Qing, Rock Buddha Temple encountered damaged
again. After several repair and rebuild, Rock Buddha Temple stayed
nearly the same scale. During the Taiping rebellion led by Hong and
Yang, the main hall was destroyed. But fortunately, in line with history,
rest of the construction didn't suffer apparent damage. During the
Emperor Qianlong's reign in Qing Dynasty, Rock Buddha Temple was ranked
as top 10 temples in Jiaxing according to 'General Recording of Zhejiang'.