Wenshu Monastery

Located at No. 15 Wenshu Yuan Street, Wenshu Monastery (Wenshu Temple or Wenshu Yuan Temple) is the largest best-preserved Buddhist temple in Chengdu. It was originally built in the Sui Dynasty (605-617), and rebuilt in the thirty-sixth year of Kangxi (1697). The temple was built to dedicate to the God of Wisdom – Wenshu Bodhisattva and now it is one of the key Buddhist temples in the country.

In the 20th year of Kangxi in the Qing Dynasty (1681), a Zen Master named Ci Du came to the deserted ancient temple. He decided to stay and spread the Buddhism from the site. He traveled all over the place for several years and gained a great reputation. Legend has it that Zen Master Ci Du passed away and when he was cremated, the fire shaped into a statue of Wenshu Bodhisattva, which lasted for a long time. The citizens believed that Ci Du was the incarnation of Wenshu Bodhisattva. The temple got its current name at the time. In the following years (1697-1706), officials, military and civilians donated money to rebuild and expand the temple. The main hall has formed its current scale since then.

Wenshu Monastery Facts

Chinese Name: 文殊院

Location: No.66, Wenshuyuan street, Qingyang district, Chengdu city, Sichuan Province, China. 四川省成都市青羊区文殊院街66号

Entrance Fee/ticket of the Wenshu Monastery: RMB5.

Opening Time: 9.00-17.00

Airport: Chengdu Shuangliu Airport

What to see at Wenshu Monastery


Facing south and north, the Wenshu Monastery has 5 halls and one eleven-story pagoda. The monastery covers over 20,000 square meters with more than 190 rooms. Walking inside the gate of the temple, the first hall you will see is the Heavenly Kings Hall, and then the Three Great Scholars Hall, the Daxiong Hall, the Prayer Hall, and Scriptures collection Hall. The architectural complex integrates well with the nearby bell tower, vegetarian restaurant, bungalow and other buildings on the east and west sides, in typical Qing Dynasty style. These buildings are connected by long corridors to form a closed courtyard. The newly built Peace Pagoda has 11 stories with a height of 22 meters, ranking as the tallest iron pagoda in China. In the 1980s, the monk Kuanlin organized to build the Thousand-Buddha Peace Pagoda, praying for world peace. Blown by the wind, the yellow bells hanging on the pagoda give out melodious sounds. The freeing life pool and the Dongxi garden also make the temples shaded with trees.


Wenshu Monastery is famous for being abundant in storing precious cultural relics painting and calligraphy. Over 500 pieces of painting and calligraphy by celebrities have been stored here since the Tang and Song dynasties. These precious works of art were created by distinguished Chinese painters and calligraphers like Zhang Daqian, Zheng Banqiao, and Feng Zikai. Among them, the most famous one is the "Kong Lin" calligraphy written by the Emperor Kangxi in 1702. More eccentric and much rater exhibits include a Bodhisattva embroidered from human hair, books written by monks using their own blood in 19th century and the skull of Xuan Zang(a famous Tang dynasty Buddhist master). Besides, Wenshu Monastery is home to 300 Buddha statues of various materials including iron, bronze, stone, wood, and jade, some gloriously painted.

Local life

Now the temple is not only a holy place for monks, but also a leisure place for the local residents. If you are planning a Chengdu trip, I would say that the Wenshuyuan Monastery is not only a quiet monastery but also a good place for strolling. In addition to the beautiful scenery, the monastery also has a large teahouse and an excellent vegetarian restaurant, where are popular places for local people. Tourists are also welcome to enjoy tea in the teahouse while listening to music by folk artists or the murmur of chanting. The vegetarian restaurant inside the Wenshu Temple offers very nice vegetarian dishes. Some of them even takes and look like meat. Get close to local people and take a look at their daily real life. Different Buddhism activities are carried out in setting dates, which are aimed to spread the Buddhism spirit and improve the social value of Buddhism.

How to get to Wenshu Monastery

By Metro Line: take line No.1 and get off at Wenshuyuan station (文殊院站) from exit K.

By public bus: take bus No.16,52,55, get off at Wenshuyuan stop (文殊院站) and walk for around 300m.

Travel Tips

1. Local people burn incense in temples and pray to the gods. Be careful to the burning incense which may hurt you.

2. When visit temples, it’s better to wear proper cloth. Cover your shoulders, not to wear mini shorts, mini skirt and sun-top.

More Attractions in Chengdu

  • Wuhouci (Wuhou Memorial Temple)
  • Du Fu Thatched Cottage
  • Kuan & Zhai Alleys
  • Bifengxia Panda Base