Lingyin monastery, (in) Hangzhou, Zheijiang, CN

Raw data

The Lingyin Temple stands at the foot of the Beigao Peak and faces the Feilaifeng Peak across a stream. […]

The presence of a temple on this site can be traced back to the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317 - 420) when, according to local legend, Huili an Indian monk came to the area where he was inspired by the spiritual nature of the scenery to be found here. To his mind this had to be a dwelling of the Immortals and so he gave the temple a name "Ling Yin (Temple of the Soul's Retreat). The Chinese name is translated into English as either "Temple of the Soul's Retreat' or 'Temple of Inspired Seclusion' […]

Over the past 1,600 years, the temple was to gain in importance during the Five Dynasties (907 - 960) when the King of the Wu Yue State initiated a large-scale development of the temple as a sign of his devotion to Buddha. In its heyday, the temple comprised nine buildings, eighteen pavilions, seventy-seven palaces and halls with over thirteen hundred rooms providing accommodation for around three thousand monks.
Getting there - City Bus: 7, 807 (arrive at Linyin Station)

The Lingyin Monastery was built in 326 AD, and still stands there.
Input by: tmciolek, 14 Dec 2009

"Lingyin Temple (simplified Chinese: 灵隐寺; traditional Chinese: 靈隐寺; pinyin: Língyǐn Sì) is a Buddhist temple of the Chan sect located north-west of Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, People's Republic of China. The temple's name is commonly literally translated as Temple of the Soul's Retreat. It is one of the largest and wealthiest Buddhist temples in China, and contains numerous pagodas and Budddhist grottoes.
The monastery is the largest of several temples in the Wulin Mountains (武林山), which also features a large number of grottos and religious rock carvings, […]
The monastery was founded in 328 AD during the Eastern Jin Dynasty by monk Hui Li, who came from India. From its inception, Lingyin was a famous monastery in the Jiangnan region. At its peak under the Kingdom of Wuyue (907-978), the temple boasted nine multi-storey buildings, 18 pavilions, 72 halls, more than 1300 dormitory rooms, inhabited by more than 3000 monks. Many of the rich Buddhist carvings in the Feilai Feng grottos and surrounding mountains also date from this era.
During the later Southern Song Dynasty, the monastery was regarded as one of the ten most important temples of the Chan sect in the Jiangnan region. However, its prominence has not saved the temple from marauders. It has been rebuilt no less than sixteen times since then. The current buildings are modern restorations of late Qing buildings. During the Cultural Revolution, the temple and grounds suffered some damage at the hands of Red Guards. However, they escaped large scale destruction partly because of the protection of Premier Zhou Enlai.
Today the temple is thriving as a destination for both pilgrims and tourists. […] Lat 30.242778, Long 120.096667" -
Input by: tmciolek, 05 Nov 2012

“Also known as “Yunlin Temple”, Lingyin Temple is located in the northwest side of West Lake in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. It is a famous ancient temple in the south of the Yangtze River. The temple was built in 326 AD and has a history of over 1,600 years. Legend has it that an Indian monk named Huili came to Hangzhou and was deeply attracted by the beautiful mountainous scenery. He thought there lived immortals and then he built a temple and named it “Lingyin”, which means hidden souls. It is said that the famous monk Jigong also took vows in the temple. Stories about the odd-behaving monk were widely spread among the people, which made Lingyin Temple even more famous.  
There are three grand halls in Lingyin Temple: the Hall of the Great Sage, the Hall of the Heavenly Kings and the Hall of the Medicine Buddha. Buildings and sculptural works like the halls, pavilions, pillars, stone pagodas and Buddhist statues are of extremely high artistic values. Some of the calligraphic works were inscribed by celebrities of all dynasties and some were even by emperors. Scenic spots in front of the temple include Cool Spring, Feilai Peak (the peak flying from afar) and Milk Cave etc.”
Input by: tmciolek, 22 Feb 2013

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 11 Jul 2013

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

Location of Lingyin monastery, CN.

General location of the Lingyin monastery, CN.
Lat 30.2430 Long 120.0967
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (, 2009.

Google Map link:,%20CN)&ll=30.2430,120.0967&spn=05.0,05.0&t=k&hl=en

Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • China:Zhejiang Sheng

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx. Lat 30.2430 Long 120.0967 - visual identification of the site in satellite iimagery, - tmciolek, 05 Nov 2012

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

11. Date-early

  • MBM chrono-tag: 0300-32c - tmciolek 13 Dec 2012
  • 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

  • [missing data]

13. Date-late

  • The monastery is still in use in the early 200s -
  • MBM chrono-tag: 1200=> - tmciolek 05 Nov 2012

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • [missing data]

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