Hengshan Temple, the Ancient Hanging Monastery

Hengshan Temple, The Ancient Hanging Monastery

Hengshan Temple was built on the edge of a cliff wall 75 m or 246 ft above the ground, which was named ‘The Hanging Temple’ or ‘Hengshan Hanging Temple’.

It is located near Mount Heng, 60 km from Datong City, Hunyuan County, Shanxi Province, North China.

Liao Ran was the monk who has been built by this holy temple during the Northern Wei Dynasty (386-534 AD) and named it Xuan Kong Si.

About 1/3 of Hengshan Temple is built between rocks, and supported by supports made of wood. Apart from that, this temple is a witness to the history of human life there for the last 1,500 years.

The ancient wooden temple structure has beautiful views of the cliffs, and the unique location of the building was included in Times Magazine’s list of the ‘10 Most Dangerous Buildings’ in 2010.

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The Most Sturdy Temple Built On The Most Scared Mountains

Hengshan Temple was built on a cliff, which is one of the 5 scariest mountains in China.

The entire Hengshan Temple is 32 meters and divided into 3 parts, which are:

Chunyang Palace, Sanguan Hall and Leiyin Hall in the Southern Part with 3 floors has 8m long and 4m wide.

Wufo Hall, Guanyin Hall and Sanjiao Hall in Northern Part are 7m long and 4m wide.

Changxian Bridge, which connects the Southern Part and Northern Part, which is 10m long.

Although the building structure of Hengshan Temple looks dangerous and steep, but there is no major accident that caused casualties. It is guaranteed to be quite safe around Hengshan Temple.

In October 2015, Hengshan Temple was temporarily closed during the rock fell through its roof. The temple was damaged, but finally reopened in April 2016.

The concept of building a hanging temple was chosen so that the temple would be protected from floods and mountains as protection from exposure to sunlight or snow.

Weather and other natural disasters do not affect the quality of the detailed structure of Hengshan Temple.

Built From Religious And Historical Values

The construction experts said that Hengshan Temple in China is the result of combining Buddhism with aesthetic mechanics.

According to local figures, the monks who built Hengshan Temple have 3 three main reasons :

First, they want to show the determination they have through the construction of this house of worship.

Second, the local community was able to avoid the terrible floods at that time.

Third, they would like to unite many people through a combination of the three main religions, such as Taoism, Buddhism, and Confucianism.

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Hengshan Temple Details And Various Ancient Relics

The design of this temple is sophisticated because it is supported by wooden posts stuck into holes in the cliff rock. This pillar only serves as a support, while the entire building is attached directly to the cliff wall.

The cliff rock behind the temple plays a very important role so that this temple can stand firmly.

Inside the temple, there are various objects that can be found. Dozens of bronze statues, iron statues, and also clay statues with carvings and engravings from various dynasties.

Besides that, there is also cupboards, 40 rooms that are the same height and balanced, and there is also a narrow walkway.

Inside the Hall of the Three Religions, there are statues of gods from Taoism (Lao-Tze), Buddhism (Sakyamuni) and Confucianism.

These statues in the Hall of the Three Religions teach the idea of the Three Harmonious Teachings, which became one unit during the Qing Dynasty and Ming Dynasty.


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