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Top 10 Temples in China with Google Earth Links

Feb 13, 2009

Introduction:

Temples are not only popular tourist destinations but also important part of Chinese culture. No matter it’s Buddhism, Taoism, Confucian, Ancestral, or any memorial one, it is a piece of cultural essence. It contains intangible value in architecture, art, religion, and sociology, etc.  From these different temples, we can know Chinese culture from a unique angle.  So temples are always among the best places of interest to travel. Here, I list top 10 temples in China with wikipedia links and google earth kml files. Let’s begin our trip in the virtual world.

Top 10 Temples in China with Google Earth Links

City/Province: where the temple locates. | Wk: wikipedia link.
GE: Google Earth kml file (view lots of
Panoramio pictures and others)

Name 中文名 Description City/Province Wk GE
1. White Horse Temple 白马寺 First Buddhist temple in China Luoyang/Henan wiki earth
2. Jokhang Temple 大昭寺 Top in Tibetan Buddhism Lhasa/Tibet wiki earth
3. Famen Temple 法门寺 Buddhist resort w/ true Buddha Relic Fufeng/Shaanxi wiki earth
4. Guandi Temple
(Xiezhou)
关帝庙 Epitome of loyalty and righteousness Yuncheng/Shanxi wiki earth
5. Jinci Temple 晋祠 One of the best ancestral temple
with beautiful surroundings
Taiyuan/Shanxi wiki earth
6. Confucius Temple
(Qufu)
孔庙 Largest&oldest Temple of Confucius Qufu/Shandong wiki earth
7. Labrang Monastery 拉卜楞寺 Best preserved academic system of
Tibetan Buddhism
Xiahe/Gansu wiki earth
8. Shaolin Monastery 少林寺 Origin of Chinese martial arts
and Shaolin Kung Fu
Dengfeng/Henan wiki earth
9. Kumbum Monastery 塔尔寺 Birthplace of the founder of Gelugpa
sect of Tibetan Buddhism
Huangzhong/Qinghai wiki earth
10. Hanging Temple 悬空寺 High on a sheer precipice combining
Buddhist, Taoist, Confucian elements
Hunyuan/Shanxi wiki earth

All 10 places in one kmz file here .

Note:

1. The Jinci Temple does not have a english wikipedia item. Link to Chinese item.
2. The Guandi temple (Xiezhou) does not have a wikipedia item. Link to the page about the hero Guan Yu himself.

Some quick stats:

1. Temples types: 6 Buddhism (including 3 Tibetan Buddhism), 1 Confucius, 1 Hero Worship, 1 Mixed (Buddhism, Taoism, Confucius), and 1 ancestral temple.
2. Location: 3 in Shanxi (山西), 2 in Henan (河南), 1 in Tibet (西藏), 1 in Qinghai (青海), 1 in Shaanxi (陕西), 1 in Shandong (山东), 1 in Gansu (甘肃).

These temples will be introduced individually in the future.

Which ones of top 10 temples have you ever been to?

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[Chinese Keyword]
十大寺庙

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