China-Lingyin Temple and The Peak that Flew from Afar
Another of Hangzhou's many splendid historic sites is the Lingyin Temple (Língyin Sì), the Temple of the Soul's Retreat, dating from 326 BC and one of the most famous Buddhist monasteries in China. Highlights include theHall of the Celestial Kings with its many fine 12th-century sculptures, including those of the Four Celestial Kings, and the 34-meter-high Sumptuous Hall of the Great Hero (Daxiong Baodian), famous among pilgrims for its 20-meter-tall gilded statue of Buddha made of 24 pieces of camphor wood. Also notable here is The Peak That Flew from Afar (Feilai Feng), a mountain riddled with numerous caves and niches, the latter containing 380 Buddha statues dating from the 10th century, including the three oldest examples dating from AD 951 and found in the east wall of the Qinglin Cave. To the north of the Temple of the Soul's Retreat is the North Peak (Beigao Feng) with its superb views of West Lake and the surrounding scenery.
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