The temple boasts a long and glorious history. It is said that Baiyan Temple was founded by two eminent monks in Yongping 16years in the Easten Han dynasty, only six years late than the White house Temple. You can see clearly the broken stone tablet, incense burner, and the figures of Buddha in the ruins alongside the road, which is extremely exquisite. I remember that I visited in Greek was also the broken stone carving. Unfortunately, no one sees the exquisite stone carving here, and they are exposed to the sun and rain, telling the decline of the prosperity before over 1000 years.
The flagstone path to the temple runs zigzag up the mountain; in the depth of the forest are towering ancient trees and booming flowers; nine ginkgo trees sharing one root grow right out side the wall of the Mahavira Hall of the temple. The path takes a sharp turn to the right before a bold cliff leading to the top of the Baiyan Mountain. When you arrive at the mountaintop, the Yinghua Hall lying on a slope comes to the sight. In the West, most of cathedrals there are built down town; while temples in the East mostly live in seclusion deep in the mountain, accompanied by beautiful nature; and the road towards the temple is always rough and rugged as if to test whether the pilgrims are pious or not.
A weekend in high summer, we went to Baiyan Mountain again when the road to Baiyan Temple had been damaged by flood. The Buddhist abbot of the temple of more than ninety years old was organizing the repair in the slimy mud under the burning sun. All of us were moved and stopped to look up to the new-built halls and new-gilded Buddha statues in piety. It reminded me of what Master Weiyin said that there was nothing easy to make or hard to break. Indeed, the rise and fall of things can never go as you expect.
Baiyan Temple is located at Jinxing Village, Dayi County, Chengdu, which is more than 60 km away from the urban area of Chengdu. It was built in the Tang Dynasty and rebuilt during the reign of Emperor Wanli in the Ming Dynasty, which is the only Tibetan Buddhist temple in the Chuanxi Plain and the nearest one from Chengdu. Mountains around soar into the sky, growing luxuriantly green ancient trees. The two mountains nearby hug the temple with their cliff side, whose rocks are jade-white so that local people named them Baiyan Mountain. Baiyan Temple, the place of enlightenment of Buddha’s warrior attendants, sits on the mountainside. The ninety ginkgo trees around were planted by Master Rujian in the Ming Dynasty and the one right outside the Mahavira Hall is the so-called “the nonuplet of ginkgo tree”. It was one tree at the beginning, but when it was stricken by thunder and lightening, it gave birth to nine new trees that shared one root. And now they almost reach for the sky. Above the temple is an enormous white sedimentary rock, which gives the name of the temple for Baiyan in English means white rock.
Scenic Sights in the Temple:
1. Unique Tibetan style building and decoration, like prayer wheels, delicate Indian pagoda, which can be regarded as a treasure of the architectural aesthetics.
2. Soaring ancient ginkgo trees, most of which were planted by monks in the Ming Dynasty and one of which is said to date back to the Xia and Shang period (about four thousand years ago), the best viewing time of which is autumn.
Ticket: no ticket
Routine 1: Chengdu-G4201 Highway-Baitou Exit (the exit after Anren Exit)-Baita Lake Road (turn left)-Chongqing Road-Yuejiagou Tunnel (drive straight, then turn right)-S106 (the overlapping part with Chongqing Road) 9turn left after I km)-Chongqing Road-intersection of Dayihuanyuan Road and Chongqing Road (turn left)-XA26-Yujing Village (turn left)-Baiyan Temple Parking Lot.
Routine 2: Chengdu-G4201 Highway-East Exit-Jingping Avenue (to the direction of Qingxia County)-Huajiazhan (turn left)-Chongqing Road (drive straight)-Wanjiazhan (turn left to the direction of Jingxing Village)-Baiyan Temple.
Routine 3: Chengdu-G4201-Dayi East Exit-Dashuang Road (along the Xiling Snow Mountains)-Yuelai County (turn right)-Danfeng Village-Jingxing Village-Baiyan Temple.
1. The distance from Chengdu to Baiyan Temple is less than 90 km, and all the roads are blacktop or cement road. Only the license plate number starting with “Chuan A” can be free of the road toll.
2. Baiyan Temple is applying for the title of National 3A Scenic Spot so that there are many farms stay around, some of which provide accommodation. You can bring solid food with you, but meat is banned in the temple.
3. The path to the temple is flagstone so that you’d better wear hiking boots least you slip down.
4. Please avoid talking loudly. Please cherish propagation and preserve environmental sanitation.
5. The best viewing time: in the mid-late November.