China's Biggest Indoor Sculpture Of Nirvana Buddha
The Giant Buddha Temple is located in the southwest part of downtown of Zhangye, which is well known for the remains of China's biggest indoor sculpture of Nirvana Buddha. The Temple was initially built in 1098. Historic Literature records that Wei Mie, a Great Master in West Xia State, unearthed a gold statue of sleeping Buddha covered by jade tile, and then built this temple there. The existing structures include the Grand Buddha Hall, Scripture Tower and the Earth Tower. Inside the Grand Buddha Hall lies the sleeping statue of Nirvana Buddha, it is 34.5m long in lenghth with the shoulder of 7.5m wide , foot of 4m and ear of 2m long. Decorated with the golden and colored patterns, it is vivid in lifestyle, looking awake but sleeping in fact. The 10 disciples are sculptured behind the sleeping Buddha, and the 18 arhats standing at the both sides of the porch. On the wall of inside Hall painted the murals about the“Pilgrimage to the West” and the“Classics of Mountains and Rivers”More than 6000 volumes of sutra bestowed by Emperor Ying Zong of Ming Dynasty are kept well, among which the collections written with the gold and silver powder are invaluable. It is said that the Mongolian Emperor Shizu(Kublai) of Yuan Dynasty was born in this Temple. At the end of Southern Song Dynasty, Zhao Xian, i.e Gong Zong, became a monk here to avoid the misfortune after his captivity.