Temple of the Eight Immortals (Ba Xian An)

The Eight Immortals is a legendary group in Chinese mythology. Temple of the Eight Immortals, as its name indicates, is mainly dedicated to the Taoist legendary eight important celestial beings whose power could be focused to either give life or destroy evil. It is the largest and best-known Taoist temple in Xi'an even in the whole northwestern China, occupying 73,333 square meters from the main gate to the rear courtyard. Temple of the Eight Immortals, also called Ba Xian An or Ba Xian Palace, is a pilgrimage center for Taoist followers in the Shaanxi Province.


- In Chinese: 八仙庵

- Address: No.12 Beihuo Lane, Changle Lane, Beilin District, Xi’an

- Opening time: 07:30 – 18:00

- Best time to visit: all year round

- Entrance fee: RMB3

Ba Xian An

History of Ba Xian An

The temple is located on Changle Lane, near the city center of Xian, no accurate date of its construction, but there is a saying that the Temple of Eight Immortals was established in the Song dynasty due to a legend of a follower who saw these eight immortals appearing on this place. The place is situated on a partial site of Xingqing Palace of the Tang dynasty. It has had many ups and downs and been repaired and expanded many times in succeeding dynasties.

During Jin and Yuan dynasties, Taoism is much more popular so this temple got the extension and got the current name. At this time, the Ba Xian An building had a considerable scale.

In Ming dynasty, Zhu Shanghong, a prince, dreamed of the eight immortals one night and got their advice, so he carried out a comprehensive maintenance of the temple and inscribed a plaque to the temple himself. Later, as a lightning flash came to the temple, a miracle appeared in the clouds, Taoists gathered here and began to cultivate themselves according to a religious doctrine. Therefore, in the Ming dynasty, the temple had become the main place for the northwest provincial Taoists to receive the discipline and learn the knowledge of Taoism. At the end of the Ming dynasty, the Temple of the Eight Immortals was destroyed by war.

The early years of the Qing dynasty in Emperor Kangxi times, folks raised money and rebuilt Ba Xian An, and invited a famed Taoist, Ren Tianran, to be the host. Since then, the Temple of the Eight Immortals has resumed the past incense and worship. In 1727 and 1832, twice grand maintenances had been done. 

Temple of the Eight Immortals

When the Eight-Power Allied Forces invaded Beijing in 1900, Emperor Guangxu and Empress Dowager Cixi escaped to Xian and lived in the temple, where they issued 50 kilograms of silver dollars to construct memorial archways for it. Today the horizontal inscribed board "Longevous Eight Immortals Taoist Temple" inscribed by Cixi is still hung in the temple.

After the founding of China, its buildings were protected and maintained. In 1982, it was listed as a key cultural relic protection site in Shaanxi Province, and religious activities were resumed.

What to See?

The temple can be divided into three sections. The first section consists of Mountain Gate, Paifang, Screen Wall, the Bell Tower and Drum Tower, and five halls which were built to dedicate to the protective god of Taoism-Wang Lingguan. The second section is the core of the temple with the Eight Immortals Hall housing the color-painted statues of the Eight Immortals and the hanging plaque which is said to be the handwriting of Emperor Guangxu. The third section is the Doumu Hall with the calligraphy of Empress Dowager Cixi.

Taoist Activity

On the Double Nine Festival (the ninth of September in lunar month), Taoist pilgrims would converge at the temple to attend the annual temple fair that lasts for 3 days and the grand worship ceremony. If you visit here in these few days, you can see this Chinese-style religious grand bash. The masters, dressed with vestments, chanted mantras, praying for peace and prosperity, while the believers burned incense and kowtow, praying for safe and good condition in all seasons.

Temple of the Eight Immortals

How to Get There?

You can take Metro Line 1 and get off at Kangfu Road Station, reach the Temple of the Eight Immortals after 7-minute’s walking.

Bus 228, 237, 240, 408, 410, 512, 517, 622 or 709 can take you there, get off at Santa Stop and walk 7 minutes to get to the destination.

More Attractions in Xi'an

  • Shaanxi History Museum
  • Big Wild Goose Pagoda, Da Ci'en Temple
  • Famen Temple
  • The Grand Mosque
  • Banpo Museum
  • Terra Cotta Warriors and Horses Museum
  • Xian Old City Wall