Xiangguo Temple

First founded in 555 AD during the Northern Qi Dynasty, the temple of Kaifeng has been frequently rebuilt over the following 1000 years. Under the Tang Dynasty (618-970 AD) it was one of the Empire's leading Buddhist institutions. During Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD) it grows to over 1000 monks in some 64 different Buddhist colleges. In 1644 Xiangguo Temple was completely destroyed when the Yellow River floodgates were opened in a disastrous attempt to halt Manchu invasion.

The current Xiangguo Temple was built from 1766 and has undergone several renovations later. The surviving structures include Shanmen Gate, the Heavenly King Hall, the Arhat Hall, the Great Treasure House, the Sutra Library, the Drum Tower and the Bell Tower.

A wooden statue of a Bodhisattva carved out of a gingko trunk during the reign of Emperor Qianlong in the Qing Dynasty and found in the Arhat Hall is most impressive. The four sides of the statue are of the same sculpt. On each side, there are six big hands and three to four layers of small fanlike hands, with an eye on each palm. The number of the hands totals 1,048, and likewise the number of the eyes.

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