Swastika Wenshu

An elephant statue in the Wenshu Yuan Monastery.
Wenshu Monastery, formerly named Xinxiang Temple, is the best-preserved Buddhist temple in Chengdu, Sichuan Province. It was initially built during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). In 1681, during the reign of Emperor Kangxi in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), an accomplished Buddhist monk, called Cidu, came to the monastery. There he built a simple hut between two trees and lived an ascetic life for several years. Legend is that when Cidu was being cremated, the statue of Wenshu Bodhisattva appeared in the flames, remaining for a long time. Therefore Cidu was regarded as the reincarnation of the Bodhisattva Wenshu. The Xinxiang Temple was thus renamed Wenshu Monastery.
Photo: Marko

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