Lingyin Temple is one of the oldest and most famous Buddhist temples in China and a top attraction in Hangzhou. Situated at the foot of Lingyin Mountain and surrounded by forest, Lingyin Temple is known for its tranquil setting, spiritual atmosphere, and numerous pagodas, grottoes, and Buddhist relics.
Lingyin Temple, aka the “Temple of the Soul’s Retreat,” was founded in AD 326 and has been rebuilt many times since then. First, pass through Feilai Feng, or Flying Peak, which has hundreds of Buddhist statues carved into the hillside, along the river, and inside caves and grottoes. Be sure to visit the main halls of the temple, including the Hall of the Heavenly Kings, the Grand Hall, and the Hall of the Buddha of Medicine.
Lingyin Temple can be visited independently, but many visitors appreciate the extra insight offered by a guided tour. Most day tours of Hangzhou, including those from Shanghai, include Lingyin Temple and other top attractions, such as West Lake and Leifeng Pagoda. Customize which attractions you visit with a private day tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
You must enter Flying Peak before you can access Lingyin Temple. Admission fees are required for both.
Wear comfortable shoes as there is a lot of ground to cover for both Linyin Temple and the Flying Peak area.
Flash photography is not allowed inside the temple.
There is a vegetarian restaurant inside the temple and a number of restaurants nearby.
How to Get There
Linyin Temple is located at No. 1 Fayun Lane, Lingyin Road in the Xihu District of Hangzhou. From Hangzhou Airport, take the shuttle bus (departs every 30–40 minutes) to Hangzhou Railway Station. From there, take bus nos. Y2 or K7, and get off at the Lingyin stop. Taxis are the most direct way of getting to the temple.
When to Get There
Lingyin Temple is extremely popular, especially during weekends and public holidays, and can see thousands of visitors a day when busy. Visit early in the morning to beat the crowds and the heat.
Lingyin Temple Highlights
Find the Maitreya (Future) Buddha, manifested as the Laughing Buddha, and the Skanda Bodhisattva, the temple’s oldest statue at more than 800 years old, in the Hall of the Heavenly Kings. The ornate ceiling has paintings of dragons and phoenixes. Gaze at the giant gold-plated statue of Shakyamuni on a lotus flower in the Grand Hall. It's one of the largest wood-carved Buddhist statues in the world at more than 80 feet (24.4 meters) tall.