Wuhouci (Wuhou Memorial Temple)

Located in the south of Chengdu, the temple is a famous historical site dedicated to the memory of both Liu Bei (161-223), Emperor of the Kingdom of Shu in the Three Kingdoms Period (220-280), and Zhuge Liang (181-234), Prime Minister of the kingdom. The temple encompasses 37,000 square meters, enclosed by red walls where there are spacious buildings shaded by towering old cypresses. 

The title "Wuhou" was granted to Zhuge Liang, a famous military strategist of the Three Kingdoms Period (220-80 A.D.) was fictionalized in one of the classics of Chinese literature, The Tale of the Three Kingdoms. The temple was originally built by Li Xiong of the Western Jin Dynasty (265-316AD), 400 years after Zhuge Liang's death, and rebuilt in the Qing Dynasty with a total area of 37000 square meters. 

It also contains the tomb of Liu Bei (161 - 223, reigned 221-223), the first ruler of the State of Shu. Tourists will find statues of Liu Bei and Zhuge Liang as well as a multitude of steles, wooden inscriptions placed on linteks, charcoal braziers, bronze tripod vessels, bells and a drum used by Zhuge Liang in battle. There articles are important in studying the history of the State of Shu. 

the front gate of Wuhou Temple

Wuhou Memorial Temple Facts

-Chinese name: 武侯祠

-Location: No.231 Wuhou Temple Street, Wuhou District, Chengdu

-Opening Hours: May 1st –Oct 31st: 08:00-20:00; Nov 1st – April 30th: 08:00-18:30

-Time needed: 2-3 hours

-Entrance fee: RMB50  

Best Time to Visit Wuhou Memorial Temple

Wuhou Memorial Temple is suitable for visiting all the year around. Chengdu has humid climate and the annual average temperature is around 16 ℃, spring and autumn are regarded as the best time to visit in Chengdu. However, the most comfortable time to visit is from March to June and from Sep to Nov. These two periods are spring and autumn, and the climate is moderate which is very suitable for Chengdu tour.

What to See at Wuhou Memorial Temple

Wuhou Memorial Temple was original a shrine dedicated to Zhuge Liang. After the renovation in Ming and Qing Dynasties, it eventually became a architectural complex that composed of four parts: Han Zhaolie Temple, Wuhou Temple, Huilin Temple and Sanyi Temple. This is the first integration of historical and cultural relics of the Three Kingdoms in Chengdu. Wuhou Temple covers an area of 150,000 square meters and consists of cultural heritage reserves (Han Zhaolie Temple, Wuhou Temple, Huilin Temple and Sanyi Temple), cultural experience area and Jinli folk custom area. Wuhou Temple is the world’s most influential Museum of relics of the Three Kingdoms, and it has the reputation of “Holy Land of Three Kingdoms.” If you are interested in the history of our Three Kingdoms period, Wuhou Temple is worth to visit for Chengdu trip.   

the couplets at Wuhou Temple

Major Wuhou Memorial Temple Attractions

Front Gate of Wuhou Temple

A plaque of “Han Zhao Lie Miao(汉昭烈庙)” is hung above at the Front Gate of Wuhou Temple”. “Han” is the title of Liu Bei’s regime, which is called “Shu Han” in history. “Zhao Lie” is the posthumous title of Liu Bei after his death. On the left and right sides of gate, there is a stone lion with the height of 2.7 meters, which adds the dignity atmosphere of the Temple. Located outside of central anxis of the gate, there is a elegant screen wall, it is the beginning of the main building of Wuhou Temple. The banyan trees on both sides of the screen wall are lush and green, just like a pair of loyal guards guarding the temple.  

Triple-success Stele

The Triple-success Stele is located on the right side of the front gate, it is 367cm tall, 95cm wide and the thickness is 25cm. There are 22 lines of the inscriptions with about 50 words in each line. The inscription highly praises Zhuge Liang’a literary and military skills in governing Shu (refers to Sichuan Province), and highly evaluates his dedication and unity. The artical was written by Peidu, the Prime Minister of Tang Dynasty, calligraphy by Liu Gongquan, one of the most brilliant calligraphers in Chinese history, engraved by Lu Jian, a skillful stone worker in Tang Dynasty. Because the article, calligraphy, engraving are extremely exquisite, known as the three unique stele. 

Temple of Liubei

Passing through the second gate, you will see the Temple of Liubei, it forms a complete courtyard architecture with the building on the east and west sides.In the middle of the main hall is the statue golden statue of Liu Bei, which is the tallest in the whole temple. The statue is 3 meters high and covered with gold. Liu Bei’s posthumous title “emperor Zhaolie of Han Dynasty” was written in the memorial tablet in front of the statue, which fully reflects the hierarchical concept of respect and inferiority. 

Temple of Zhuge Liang 

Temple of Zhuge Liang is a very traditional temple architecture which is surrounded by six groups of buildings, including hallway, east chamber, west chamber, bell tower, drum tower and kongming hall, with a total construction area of 1,588 square meters. The temple is the main place to commemorate Zhuge Liang, so there are many famous inscriptions, plaques and couplets, the couplet that written by Zhao fan of Qing Dynasty is the most famous. The statue of Zhuge Liang was built in 1672, the 11th year of the reign of Emperor Kangxi of the Qing Dynasty. Zhuge Liang hold a feather fan in his hand, wears a silk scarf on his head, and a crane cloak on his body, with a refined manner and shows celebrity demeanor. On both sides of the statue are statues of Zhuge Liang’s son and grandson. 

How to Get to Wuhou Temple

Bus: Take bus No. 1, 57, 82, 334, 335 and get off at Wuhouci (Wuhou Temple) Station or take bus No. 8, 21 and get off at Wuhouci East Street Station.

Metro: Take Metro Line 3 and get off at Gaoshengqiao, and then walk along Wuhouci Avenue for 3-5 minutes.   

More Attractions in Chengdu

  • Wenshu Monastery
  • Du Fu Thatched Cottage
  • Kuan & Zhai Alleys
  • Jiuzhaigou and Huanglong