Rongchang Luohan Temple: Older than Chongqing Luohan Temple

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It has always been known that there is an Luohan Temple in Chongqing, and some strange events have happened. When I learned that Rongchang also has an archway of Luohan Temple, I was not surprised.

After inquiring with the local guide, Mr. Li, I only knew that there was a place called Luohan Temple, but I didn’t explore it on the spot. Under the high temperature of 42 degrees, we drove to Qingsheng Town, which is about 15km away from Rongchang City, and visited Luohan Temple in Luohan Temple Village.

On the way, I almost took the wrong way because I was not familiar with the road. Fortunately, I met a young village party secretary who was still fighting on the front line because of the high temperature fire prevention inspection. people” are also envious.

The first thing that caught my eye was the Luohan Temple. Because the door was locked due to the need for epidemic prevention and control and forest fire prevention, I followed the guidance of the villagers and saw the archway of the Luohan Temple. I also asked if I could ask the villagers who are in charge of the keys in the village to temporarily open the door. To see one or two.


The archway of Luohan Temple is probably the oldest relic left by Luohan Temple, but in terms of years, Rongchang Luohan Temple was built in the Tianbao period of the Tang Dynasty, 300 years earlier than the Luohan Temple in Yuzhong District during the Northern Song Dynasty.

Although the Luohan Temple in Rongchang was severely affected by the war in the later period, this stone archway was rebuilt in the Ming Dynasty; the Luohan Temple in Yuzhong was rebuilt during the Qianlong period of the Qing Dynasty, and was rebuilt after being damaged in the 1970s. Although they have been together for more than a hundred miles, the encounter is also the same.

On the top of the archway of Luohan Temple, there is an engraving of “The First Zen Forest in the West”, which is the evidence of the once glorious mountain gate. It was probably never thought that this would be the only evidence of the passing of history when it was built.

It is said that Xuanzang passed by this place when he returned from his westward journey, and sighed at the solemnity of the treasure temple.


In Suining, Sichuan, which is 160 kilometers away from the Luohan Temple in Qingsheng, there is a Guangde Temple that is also called the “First Zen Forest in the West”, and the story is almost the same. After careful research, it was found that neither Suining in Sichuan nor Rongchang in Chongqing was on the route of Xuanzang’s return from westward travel.

It is recorded in the Annals of Rongchang County in the ninth year of Guangxu in the Qing Dynasty that in the early years of Tianbao in the Tang Dynasty, the old monk Huai Ren and his apprentices saw the “holy lantern” one night, so they thought of building a temple in the place where the “holy lantern” was found. Luohan Temple. About this “holy lamp”, we will mention it in the next issue.

According to the test, Luohan Temple “old nine floors and eighteen halls, 3,700 towers”, the whole temple covers an area of ​​more than 1,000 acres, close to the size of 100 standard football fields. In the late Ming Dynasty, only four main halls remained in Luohan Temple, and after repairs, they were rebuilt into five halls. In the tenth year of Jiaqing in the Qing Dynasty, more than 800 yuan was spent, and it took five years to rebuild the Guanyin Hall, with a thousand-handed Guanyin inside.


The current Luohan Temple was used as a primary school in Luohan Village , Qingsheng Township in the 1970s and 1980s. The villager, Mrs. Liu, proudly told me that this primary school has good feng shui. Several of her children came out from here and were admitted to Rongchang Middle School.

Grandma Liu enthusiastically helped us open the temple door and introduced the story of the past. There are few historical sites in the temple, but the two statues of the Jade Buddha brought back from Myanmar are still quite dignified. As a believer, the 88-year-old Grandma Liu has clear eyes and ears. Instead of the chaos of the elderly, there is a kind of clarity in the eyes of the young. I don’t know if this is the power of faith.


Under the leadership of the enthusiastic villager Grandma Tang, we went to Luohan Cave under the rock. It is said that it used to be the drinking water source for the monks of Luohan Temple. The cave covers an area of ​​more than 100 square meters. It has been soaked and dripped from the stone above the cave for many years. Even under the high temperature of 44 degrees in Chongqing for nearly a month, the water is still dripping and the touch is cool. It is a summer resort.


There are dozens of headless stone statues in the cave, all of which were damaged during movement. After careful observation, the statues, even the carvings of fingernails and coats, are extremely fine. If the head is still preserved, it should be extremely researched. and aesthetic value.

When we were in the temple, Grandma Liu showed us several Buddha statues with bright colors, all of which were dug out of the ground.


The bamboo forest next to the Luohan Temple is almost dead due to the severe drought. I never wanted to hear from the villagers that there are some monks and believers who died to protect the Luohan Temple buried under this bamboo forest.

The body has never been just a vessel, but a temple that holds the spirit, a raft that reaches the other shore.

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