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White Horse Temple

White Horse Temple

Among lush woods in the eastern suburbs of Luoyang city, an ancient capital of Henan Province, there stands White Horse Temple, which is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in China and renowned as the cradle of Chinese Buddhism.

The construction of temple started in the 11th year during Yongping reign of Emperor Mingdi in the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220). According to documented history, Emperor Mingdi once dreamed of a golden man flying above the courtyard, and after waking up, he sent a delegation as envoys to western world in pursuit of Buddhism. On their way two envoys came across two renowned Indian dignitaries She Moteng and Zhu Falan preaching Buddhism doctrines. With their invitation two dignitaries came to China, carrying their Buddhist scriptures and statues by white horse all the way. Upon their arrival in Luoyang, Emperor Mingdi ordered construction of temple which he named White Horse Temple to memorize the white horse for its carrying back of the sutras.

The main halls in White Horse Temple consist of Hall of Heavenly Kings, Great Buddha Hall, Mahavira Hall, Hall of Guidance as well as the Cool and Clear Terrace. With vivid Buddha statues, solemn architecture as well as historical stories, many travelers come here to pray for happiness every year. In addition, there are also a great number of experts and scholars who study the history here.