The Great Xiangguo temple is located in the center of the city of Kaifeng. With an outlook of red walls and green roof tiles of towering halls and the fame reached far by the sound from the frosty bell, the sights of the temple are not only renowned for its “Ten Miracles”, but also famous for the “Eight Sights of Bianliang”, such as “Xiangguo Frosty Bell” and “The Zisheng incensed breeze”.
The Great Xiangguo temple is a royal temple and it is one of the ten famous temples in history. It was first built in 555 AD and was called “Jian-guo temple”. On the record from history, it is shown that the temple was built on the land belonging to Mr.Xinling, who was one of “Four Gentlemen “during the Zhanguo period. On 721 AD, the name of the temple became “Xiangguo”, since it is granted by the emperor Ruizong of Tang Dynasty to memorize his enthronement. During North Song Dynasty, the temple was worshipped and respected by emperors, therefore the temple covered its area more than 540mu, and managed 64 departments of Zen and Commandment with several thousand monks. So, the temple became one of China’s most vibrant centers of arts and calligraphy, a hub for poets, artists, musicians, and a meeting place for all classes of society.
Now, the temple has several ancient buildings such as the Gate, the Heavenly King Hall, the Main Hall, the Hall with eight glazed eaves, the Sutra Library and the Drum/Bell Tower.
The abbot Xinguang was born at city of Yongcheng in Henan Province, whose teacher was famous Master Jingyan. Master Xinguang became a monk since 1983 and went to Chinese Buddhist College at Xixiashan. After Master Jingyan’s Parinirvana, Master Xinguang became the president of Henan Buddhist study association and the headmaster of Guguanyin Temple. In 1995, Master Xinguang founded the Dharma Charity Association under Henan Buddhist Study Association, and the dharma charity association influenced widely and broadly within few years. In 1998, recommended by President Zhao Puchu, and invited by Henan Buddhist Association and leaders of the Religious Department of Henan and Kaifeng, Master Xinguang entered Xiangguo temple. Then he pushed forward the construction plan for the temple. Now, the gate hall, parking lots, and free life pond were built successfully and the main project for Zisheng Tower is under construction. In 2002, Master Xinguang became the abbot of Great Xiangguo temple.