Jiming monastery, (in) Nanjing, Jiangsu, CN

Raw data

Jiming Monastery 雞鳴寺 in Nanjing 南京/Jiangsu

Jiming Temple is located in the northeastern part of Nanjing City. It was built first in the Southern Tang Dynasty and then in the Song Dynasty. The existing Temple was built in the Ming Dynasty. With Lake Xuanwu at the back, Jiming Temple faces the Purple Mountain to the east. Inside the temple are Guanyin Building, Huomeng Building, Jingyang Building, Rouge Well, etc.

Jiming Temple (Cockcrow Monastery).  It is one of the oldest Buddhist Monasteries in Nanjing city. Cockcrow Monastery on the eastern foot of Jilong Mountain (Chicken Cage Mountain), the famous Jihua Mountain (九华山, one of the four Buddhist mountains in China) and Xuanwu Lake (玄武湖) is to the east and to the north of respectively. As early as 300 AD, religious establishments had been set up. About 200 years later, Tongtai Buddhist Monastery was built. It was the center of Buddhism of southern China, and visiting Indian monks had lived here. Since then Jilong Mountain has formerly been a holy land of Chinese Buddhism.

But a powerful lighting stroke on one day in 538 AD and a great fire was then blazed. It was only two small houses of the monastery were left. Ignored for hundreds of years till 922, a new Buddhist monastery was built on the former site, called the Monastery of a Thousand Buddha, later Yuanji Monastery. 

The actual Cockcrow Monastery was built in 1387 under the royal decree of first Ming Dynasty emperor Zhu Yuanzhang. He ordered architects to demolish most of the old constructions on the site and rebuild the monastery. The emperor inscribed with a plaque "Cockcrow Monastery" for it.

Jiming Temple (6th century site, 20th century buildings) […] was founded nearly 1,500 years ago during the Liang dynasty, when the emperor ordered the construction of "Tongtai temple" atop Jilong hill. Tongtai, which means "unity then peace" was a phrase borrowed from the Sanskrit Buddhist sutras. Since then, the temple has frequently changed names as portions of the temple were repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt.

Sanzang Pagoda, built in 1944, is located just south of Xuanwu lake on "Little Jiuhua Hill," the top of which is almost exactly level with the Ming wall around the city. The pagoda here balances nicely with the one at Jiming Temple at the other end (to the west) of a long straight stretch of the wall. The pagoda houses the remains of the Tang dynasty monk, Xuan Zang, who is famous for his trip to India to bring back Buddhist scripture. His remains were discovered by a Japanese archeologist excavating Bao’en Temple in 1943 and were placed in this specially designed pagoda in 1944.

Input by: tmciolek, Dec 15, 2009

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 30 Jul 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 Jiming monastery, CN.

General location of the Jiming monastery, CN.
Lat 32.063 Long 118.790
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (http://www.fallingrain.com), 2009.

Google Map link:


Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • China: Jiangsu Sheng

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx., Lat 32.063 Long 118.790 - visual identification in maps.google.com - tmciolek, 17 Dec 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 0467-99p 0500-32c - tmciolek 28 Apr 2013
  • 0467-99p 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 28 Apr 2013

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • [missing data]

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • Archaeological, historical

16. Additional notes

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