Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Chung Tai Shan Monastery

Yesterday we took a bus from Taichung (or Taitung) to Puli to see the Chung Tai Chan Monastery, one of the largest Buddhist monasteries in Taiwan.  Designed by C.Y.Lee, the architect who also designed Taipei 101, the monastery was completed in 2001and is supposed to resemble the profile of the seated Buddha.

(picture from  http://info.taiwan.net.tw/)

The stairways on both sides of the monastery are supposed to represent the gradual bodhisattva path (path of a Buddha-to-be to Buddha-hood).

The monastery was in the midst of a "Seven Day Retreat" so rooms like The Great Magnificence Hall and Great Enlightenment Hall were closed to the public.

However, the impressive Hall of the Four Heavenly Kings and Great Majestic Hall were open.

Interior shot of the Hall of the Four Heavenly Kings.  The Kings are each 12 meters high and stand in four corners.  Each King's head has the faces of all four kings.

The Great Majestic Hall, statue of the Shakyamuni Buddha. 

The Chung Tai Chan Monastery, like all wealthy monasteries, has many organizations under its umbrella (many monasteries and temples own hospitals or real estate).  The Monasteries has 3 schools - elementary, middle, and high school - on its estate, and an impressive art museum, as well as several sculpture gardens.

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