Ayuwang monastery, (towards) Ningbo, Zhejiang, CN

"Ayuwang (Asoka) Temple (c. 282, 405, 502, rebuilt thereafter)
The Asoka, or Ayuwang, temple is located about a dozen miles east of Ningbo in Zhejiang Province. Along the way the flat terrain of the city soon gives way to somewhat scenic hills and an interesting pagoda. The temple is located near the Luhua Peak in the Taibai mountains, one of China's five important Buddhist mountains. The temple is part of the Chan (Zen) sect and attracts many Chinese and Japanese pilgrims and tourists as well as the occasional European or American visitor. It is the only remaining temple in China named after the Indian king and Buddhist proselytizer.
There are numerous legends connected with the founding and early history of the temple complex. The original temple apparently was built during the reign of Taikang of the Western Jin Dynasty in 282 AD, though traces of it have long disappeared. Its prized possession is a parietal bone of Sakyamuni, the Buddha, dug up in the late 3rd century. It is one of the reported 84,000 reliquaries made by King Asoka, India's first major patron of Buddhism (c. 274 -237 BC). The relic is housed in a seven-step stone stupa, about 20 inches high, in the Hall of Stupa.
Asoka, or the 'king of Zhouli' according to the Chinese, reportedly saw the area of Ningbo as a place of peace and harmony. Soon Hui Lian, a senior monk, searching for a place for a temple, heard a sound from the ground and found a hotspring, and the temple miraculously appeared. In 405 the emperor confirmed that this was the truth and built another temple to protect the first one and added other buildings. In 502 another layer of temples was built, and Emperor Liang Wudi became a major Buddhist proselytizer; he named it "A yu wang." It still has many 'layers' today and has very extensive grounds." Ciccione et al. (1998-2010: Ayuwang)

In autumn 1223, a place of Buddhist studies & meditation training of Eihei Dogen - (Kodera 1980:47)
Input by: tmciolek, Jul 25, 2010

“ Situated under the Luhua Peak in Taibai Mountains, Asoka Temple is 19 kilometers to the east of Ningbo and is one of the "China Five Buddhist Mountains". The temple was built in 282 AC, so it is over 1700 years old. Asoka Temple plays an important role in the cultural exchanges between China and Japan and it is especially famous both at home and abroad for the Buddhist treasure: a bone from the top of Sakyamuni's head which is kept as a relic here. The Stupa is put in the 7-step stone pagoda (about half a meter high with five stories) in the splendid Hall of Stupa. Behind the pagoda is the lying portrait of Sakyamuni. On the Hall of Stupa hangs Emperor Song Gao Zong's inscription "Foding Guangming Zhita (Pagoda of Top Bright Buddha) and Emperor Song Xiao Zong "Miaosheng Zhidian (The Most Wonderful Hall) Asoka Temple is grand in size with its splendid halls. The temple consists of over 600 rooms including Grand Buddha Hall and the Hall of Stupa, and occupies 80,000 square meters. In the temple are kept many cultural relics such as "King Asoka's (Tang Dynasty) Resident Field Stele", Stele of 'Story of Chen Kui Pavilion' by Sushi (a famous poet in Song Dynasty), and "the Inscription of Wonderful and Happy Spring" by Zhang Jiucheng (Number One Scholar in Song Dynasty).” - http://www.calstatela.edu/centers/apbi/ningbo/english/tour-ayw.htm
Input by: tmciolek, Feb 22, 2013

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 14 Aug 2014

Lat/Long coordinates' accuracy:
The monastery in question is assumed to be situated actually no farther than 200 m from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of Ayuwang monastery, CN.

General location of the Ayuwang monastery, CN.
Lat 29.8540 Long 121.7460
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (http://www.fallingrain.com), 2010.

Google Map link:


Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • Ayuwang monastery - Ciccione et al. (1998-2010: Ayuwang)

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • China:Zhejiang Sheng

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

  • Asoka Temple - Ciccione et al. (1998-2010: Ayuwang)
  • Kuang-li Monastery on A-yue-wang Mountain - Kodera (1980:47)

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx., Lat 29.8540 Long 121.7460 - based on visual identification of the monastery in satellite imagery, maps.google.com - tmciolek, 27 Jul 2010.

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

6. Modern name of the known nearest city, town, or village

7. The settlement's alternative/historical names

8. The settlement's coordinates

9. Monastery's major Buddhist tradition

  • Mahayana

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

  • Chan/Zen - Ciccione et al. (1998-2010: Ayuwang)

11. Date-early

  • c. 282 AD - Ciccione et al. (1998-2010: Ayuwang)
  • MBM chrono-tag: 0267-99c - tmciolek 13 Dec 2012
  • 0267-99c 0300-32c 0333-66c 0367-99c 0400-32c 0433-66c 0467-99c 0500-32c 0533-66c 0567-99c 0600-32c 0633-66c 0667-99c 0700-32c 0733-66c 0767-99c 0800-32c 0833-66c 0867-99c 0900-32c 0933-66c 0967-99c 1000-32c 1033-66c 1067-99c 1100-32c 1133-66c 1167-99c 1200=> dated-el

12. Date-intermediate

  • in use in 502 AD, rebuilt soon after - Ciccione et al. (1998-2010: Ayuwang)

13. Date-late

  • Still in existence in 2002 - Ciccione et al. (1998-2010: Ayuwang)
  • MBM chrono-tag: 1200=> - tmciolek 7 Nov 2012

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • [missing data]

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • [missing data]

16. Additional notes

  • [missing data]

17. Corrections & addenda to this page were kindly provided by

  • [missing data]

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