Chongqing to spend 10 billion RMB rebuilding Western Shaolin Temple

11:13, October 12, 2010      

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Many have perhaps heard about the Southern Shaolin Temple and the Northern Shaolin Temple but not the Western Shaolin Temple. The Western Shaolin Temple will be rebuilt on Mount Puti in Chongqing's Changshou District at the end of 2011.

The stone-laying ceremony for the construction of the ancient town of Changshou was held on Oct. 9.

The Puti Monastery on Mount Puti will be rebuilt as the Western Shaolin Temple. The project will cover 15 square kilometers, including 5 square kilometers of core areas. It will be built under the standards set for top-grade tourist spots and will require investments totaling 10 billion yuan, according to officials from Chongqing's Changshou District.

Mount Puti, located beside the Taohua Xincheng area of Changshou District, is a noted place where Bodhidharma once popularized Buddhist doctrines. The Puti Monastery on the mountain has had a history of more than 1,000 years and was damaged in the 1950s. Changshou District has decided to use both the sound natural environment of Mount Puti and Changshou's unique cultural resources to develop a national-level cultural town project.

The project includes a cultural corridor ranging from the foot of the mountain to the mountaintop, an ancient town of Changshou and two core area — the Danshou Cultural Tourist Area and the Foshou Cultural Tourist Area.

The Foshou Cultural Tourist Area will mainly be developed by rebuilding the Puti Monastery covering an area of 130,000 square meters on Mount Puti.

"We have contacted the Southern Shaolin Temple (Quanzhou Shaolin Temple) and Northern Shaolin Temple (Songshan Shaolin Temple) and invited Shi Changding and Shi Yongxin, the Buddhist abbots of the two temples, respectively, to visit Mount Puti in August 2010. They have provided support for the reconstruction of the temple," said Tang Hongtao, an official from Changshou and Mount Puti Development Office.

The Foshou Cultural Tourist Area will introduce the management modes of the two Shaolin temples and develop the Puti Monastery into the third largest Zen Buddhist temple after the southern and northern Shaolin temples.

The Puti Monastery will also introduce Bodhi trees and Buddha relics. As the world's largest Bodhi tree is in Sri Lanka, Changshou District has purchased Bodhi trees from Sri Lanka and planted them on Mount Puti.

The district will also ask for the transfer of part of Buddha's relics from India to the mountain. Changshou District aims to develop Mount Puti into the fifth largest famous Buddhist mountain after Mount Wutai, Mount Putuo, Mount Emei and Mount Jiuhua.

Chongqing Evening News contributes to this report.

By People's Daily Online

(Editor:叶欣)

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