Xiantong monastery, (in) Taihuai, Shanxi, CN

Raw data

"Xiantong Monastery
The Xiantong Monastery (Xiantong si) distinguishes itself by being the largest of the Wutaishan temples, with a total of 400 rooms, and by being the oldest, apparently dating as far back as the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220 A.D.). One of the halls is a magnificent brick structure without a single roof beam. There are also a bronze hall three meters high, two bronze pagodas over six meters high, and a huge bronze bell weighing five thousand kilogrammes, all dating from the Ming Dynasty. This temple is generally accepted as one of the two oldest temples in China, along with Luoyang's Baima Temple."

"Wutaishan Xiantong Temple, Xiangtong Si
Xiantong Temple covers an area of 43,700sqm and has the largest scale and longest history in Wutai Mountain.
Xiangtong Temple is located at the foot of the Bodhisattva Summit (Pusa Ding), center of Wutai Mountain. There are 400 rooms, big and small, erected in the Xiantong Temple. These rooms were built imitating the styles of the Ming and Qing Dynasties. The Xiantong Temple and the White Horse Temple in Luoyang is the two earliest temples in China.
Xiantong Temple was first built in the Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD). Having been repaired for many times and changed many names, the name Xiantong Temple was finally fixed in the 26th year of the Kangxi in the Qing Dynasty (1687), and maintains till now."

Input by: tmciolek, Apr 16, 2009

“Before Buddhism came to China there were many reported appearances, among colorful clouds, of a youth with five hair knots. The Taoists considered this youth to be a manifestation of their master. During the time of the Han emperor Ming-Di (58-75 AD), two Buddhist masters Moteng and Falan brought Buddhism to China. When they came upon Wutaishan, they knew this as the place of Manjushri. There was already a stupa holding Shakyamuni’s relic from King Ashoka from India.
Han Emperor Ming-Di built the Great Faith Vulture Peak’s Temple, now Hsian-Tung Temple. It was called Great Faith because the emperor believed the Indian masters’ words that Wutaishan was like Vulture’s Peak in India.” - http://www.mandalamagazine.org/tag/pilgrimage/
Input by: tmciolek, Feb 28, 2013

“As early as in 68 A.D. (the 11th year of Yongping, Han Dynasty), the unique topographic landscape of Wutai Mountain was discovered by imminent monks Kashyapamatanga (Shemoteng) and Dharmaraksha (Zhufalan) from India. They thought that Wutai Mountain was extremely the same as Rajgir Hill of India where Lord Buddha Sakyamuni explained Buddhist doctrine. So they presented to Emperor Ming to build “Dafu Rajgir Temple (Dafu means promote and believe)”, which is the predecessor of the present Xiantong Temple. Xiantong Temple is the earliest temple has the longest history among the temples of Wutai Mountain.” - https://sites.google.com/site/liyongcnu/-travel--3/wutaimountaintravel
Input by: tmciolek, Mar 08, 2013

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 07 Mar 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 Xiantong monastery, CN.

General location of the Xiantong monastery, CN.
Lat 39.00928 Lat 113.5889
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (http://www.fallingrain.com), 2009.

Google Map link:


Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • Xiantong monastery

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • China:Shanxi Sheng

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx., Lat 39.00928 Lat 113.5889 - based on visual identification of the site in maps/satellite imagery, maps.google.com and in the Panoramio photographs & http://www.panoramio.com/photo/32278105 - tmciolek, 28 Feb 2013.

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 28 Feb 2013
  • <=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

  • [missing data]

13. Date-late

  • MBM chrono-tag: 1200=> - tmciolek 28 Feb 2013

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • [missing data]

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • [missing data]

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]

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