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Wenshu Monastery

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../images/tuku/Wenshu Monastery
../images/tuku/Wenshu Monastery
../images/tuku/Wenshu Monastery
../images/tuku/Wenshu Monastery
../images/tuku/Wenshu Monastery

Arguably the most beautiful and well preserved temple in Chengdu is the very active Wenshu Monastery. Worshippers light candles and incense, constantly encompassing the temple in a thick perfumed smoke. The young manage to hold incense sticks in one hand and their mobile phone in the other while older generation burn ghostdom paper money hoping it'll reach deceased ancestors and touch iron figures of animals for good luck. During holidays, worshippers struggle through throngs of people to offer their incense. So much is burned that monks frequently pull out fire hoses to extinguish the flames.


Wenshu Monastery, situated north of the central square on Renmin Zhong Lu, was founded all the way back in the Tang dynasty but the buildings here today were built in 1691. It's the main temple for the province's (Zen) Buddhist sect. The most stunning features of the temple are the White Jade Buddha and the Thousand Buddha Pagoda. Aside from beautiful carvings, there are peaceful green areas around the temple grounds and many locals take a nap under a tree or perform their daily exercises in the quiet shade. You might see seniors hugging trees and rubbing their backs against them to improve blood circulation.


There's a teahouse on the premises, probably the best one in town and also one of the biggest. There are also vegetarian restaurants around the teahouse specializing mainly in tofu dishes.