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Structures of the Temples
THE GRAND HALL
The Grand Hall of Zhiyuan Temple is 43m high. A huge horizontal board inscribed with gilded "Grand Hall" by Yu Youren, a famous calligrapher, hangs over the entrance. In the center of the hall there is a lotus throne, on which sit three giant images of Buddha, each about 20ft high and all gilded, Tathagata in the middle, Amitabha on the left, and "Medicine Master" on the right. They are the biggest of all images of Buddha in the Jiuhua temples. On either side of the central throne stand nine 3m-high images of arhat. In front of the hall there is an inverted copper bell about 400 jin in weight.
Zhiyuan Temple, or Zhiyuan Buddhist Temple, known in the ancient times as Zhiyuan or Zhishu, is one of the four biggest Buddhist monasteries in the mountain. According to legend, Sakyamuni preached Buddhism in the garden of Zhiyuan for over 20 years. Therefore Zhiyuan used to be the sacred place of the Indian Buddhism. The temple was built afterwards and named after the place. Constructed in the years under Jiajing's reign (1522-1566) in the Ming Dynasty, it was renovated several times between 1644 and 1911 in the Qing Dynasty.
Huacheng Temple was the first temple in Jiuhua Mountain. With the longest history and as the site of Ksitigarbha Rite, it is the leading monastery of the mountain. In the 5th year under Longan's reign (401) in the Eastern Jin Dynasty. Monk Beidu built a simple temple here. It was reconstructed and named Huacheng Temple in the Zhide years (756 - 758) of the Tang Dynasty. The word Huacheng is an allusion to a Buddhist story in the Fahua Scripture.
Huacheng Temple is located in Jiuhua Street. Right in front of the temple lies a round plaza. In the center of the plaza is a crescent shaped lotus pond named "Crescent Moon Pond", into which, it is believed, Monk Jin QiaoJue used to free captive fish. The temple consists of four parts: the lobby, the grand hall, the back hall and the Scripture Tower. The ground slopes up with each part and the whole layout is natural. The doors, windows, brackets. beams, columns, steps and the cornerstone are carved with exquisite designs, In the hall are preserved horizontal boards inscribed by emperors: "Sacred Land of Jiuhua" by Kangxi, "Fentuopujiao" by Qianlong, and "Beneficence Most Enjoyable" by Chongzhen.