An interesting aspect of Chengdu are the various Buddhist and Taoist sites. One is a monastery, apparently functioning, dedicated to Manjusri, the embodiment of Wisdom, known in China as Wenshu.

Founded during the Sui Dynasty and built between 605 and 617, and initially known as Xin Xiang Temple, it was destroyed by war during the latter stages of the Ming Dynasty (1338 – 1644). It was rebuilt after this, and survived the Cultural Revolution largely intact as well.

It seems most things Chinese which predate the Revolution are now preserved in a kind of theme park setting. Surrounding the temple are small shops selling incense, beads, candles and the like. Nearby is a modern, “ancient” Chinese village, with shops selling expensive artwork, crafts, traditional food, etc. While this area has a kind of Epcot Center feel to it, the Temple itself is weighted with history.

Wenshu Main Building

WenShu roof

Wenshu Temple statue

Wenshu hall

Another classy Wenshu roof