Baima monastery, (near) Luoyang, Henan, CN

Raw data

The White Horse Temple (Baima Si) in Luoyang, Henan Province, was the first Buddhist temple in China, established by Emperor Mingdi in the year 68 AD.
Input by: tmc, 14 Aug, 2009

"The White Horse Temple, 12 kilometers east of downtown Luoyang, was the first temple built in 68 A. D. , the 11th year during the reign of Emperor Yongping of the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220) after the introduction of Buddhism to China. As legend has it, the Buddhist scriptures were carried by a white horse, hence the name. Covering an area of 40, 000 square meters, the temple has Qiyun Pagoda erected in the Jin Dynasty (1115-1234) , a pair of sculptured white horses, the tombs of eminent monks from India, pagodas to enshrine Buddhist sutras, stone tablets carved in the Yuan and Ming dynasties (1271-1644) and bell tower."
Input by: tmc, 3 Aug, 2011

"It is said, in the year of King Yongping of Eastern Han Dynasty (25 - 220 AD), the king sent monks Cai Yin and Cai Jing to India to ask for scriptures of Buddhism. Three years later, they got the scriptures and returned to China.
During the return trip, they met monks She Moteng and Zhu Falan near the north of Afghanistan [=in the northern Afghanistan]. The two monks took a white horse to help them transporting the scriptures back to Luoyang. The year after they returned, a temple was built to keep those scriptures, that is the White Horse Temple. The White Horse Temple was the first temple built by the government after Buddhism of India reached China, so people also called it "Grandfather of the Temples". This temple was quite giant in Tang Dynasty (618 - 907 AD). Today, after years of warfare, less than ten percent of the construction is remained. It includes the Tian Wang Hall, Dafo Hall, Da Xiong Hall, Jie Yin Hall, Pilu Garret, and Qing Liang Stand." -
Input by: tmciolek, 22 Feb, 2013

"[D]uring the era of Zheng Yuan, 254-255 AD, Bhikshu Tandi, from Parthia (today’s Iran), came to the Baima Temple in Luoyang where he translated the ordination sanghakarma of the Dharmaguptaka school." - Ben YIN (n.d.:1)
Input by: tmciolek, 07 Aug 2014

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 07 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 Baima Si monastery, CN.

General location of the Baima Si monastery, CN.
lat=34.719447 long=112.594005
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (, 2009.

Google Map link:,%20CN)&ll=34.719447,112.594005&spn=05.0,05.0&t=k&hl=en

Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • China:Henan Sheng

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx., Lat: 34.719447 Long: 112.594005 - coords taken from the Baimasi temple location in maps, - tmc, 17 Aug 2009.

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

  • [missing data]

11. Date-early

  • MBM chrono-tag <=0200 - tmciolek 25 Dec 2012
  • <=0200 0200-32c 0233-66c 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

13. Date-late

  • MBM chrono-tag 1200=> - tmciolek 25 Dec 2012

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • "A monk from the royal family known as Po-Yen [from the Kucha monastic cluster - tmciolek] travelled to the Chinese capital, Luoyang, from AD 256-260. He translated six Buddhist texts to Chinese in 258 at China's famous White Horse Temple [i.e. Baima monastery], including the Infinite Life Sutra, an important sutra in the Pure Land Buddhism." -
  • At the invitation of the Chinese Emperor Ming Di, two Indian monks named Kasyapa Matanga ven-matanga and Dharmaratna ven-dharmaratna or Gobharana ven-gobharana, translated the Buddhist classics at the Baimai Temple at Luo Yang, which was then the nation’s capital. They translated many scriptures, the notable of these was the Sutra of Forty-two Chapters (四十二章經), which was translated by Matanga. This was the first Buddhist sutra in Chinese language and has the pride of place in the history of Chinese Buddhism. Gobharana translated the 'Dasa Bhumi' or the 'Ten stages of Perfection', apart from five others. -
  • The famous Indo-Scythian Buddhist translator, Dharmarakṣa (Ch: 竺法護, Zhú Fǎhù), active ca. 266–308 AD, came to Luoyang in 266, and resided at the White Horse Temple from at least the spring of 289 to 290 AD. -
  • Xuanzang (Hsüan-tsang) of the Tang Dynasty started on his pilgrimage from this temple. On his return from India, Xuanzhang remained the abbot of the White Horse Temple till his death. -

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • architectural

16. Additional notes

  • [missing data] (incl. details of the size of the monastic population)….

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

  • [missing data]

end of page

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License