Situated at the foot of Wulao Peak on the southern end of Xiamen is South Putuo Temple, first built during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Later rebuilt during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), it is now an imposing multi-layered trapezoidal structure that overlooks the sea. The Shrine of Buddhist Scriptures houses a huge collection of Buddhist cultural relics, including a Burmese jade carving of the Buddha and many important Buddhist texts. The temple’s Heavenly King Hall, the main prayer hall, the Hall of Great Compassion and the Shrine of Buddhist Scriptures are all graced with painted brackets and upturned eaves. Its rare artifacts include four giant stone turtles lying on the right side of the front gate, a rock with holes in the shape of a Chinese ancient coin, a large Song-dynasty bronze bell and a white porcelain sculpture of Guanyin, the Goddess of Mercy. The South Fujian Buddhist Institute is located to the left of the temple. Established in 1925, it enjoys great prestige among Buddhists in China.
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