The presence of a temple on this site can be traced back to the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317 - 420 C.E.) when, according to local legend, Huili, an Indian monk came to the area where he was inspired by the spiritual nature of the scenery to be found here. To his mind this had to be a dwelling of the Immortals and so he gave the temple a name "Ling Yin (Temple of the Soul's Retreat). The Chinese name is translated into English as either "Temple of the Soul's Retreat' or 'Temple of Inspired Seclusion' for the setting has a quiet and beautiful grandeur that encourages a feeling of peace and for contemplation.
The temple was to gain in importance during the Five Dynasties (907-960 C.E.) when the King of the Wu Yue State initiated a large-scale development of the temple as a sign of his devotion to Buddha. In its heyday, the temple comprised nine buildings, eighteen pavilions, seventy-seven palaces and halls with over thirteen hundred rooms providing accommodation for around three thousand monks. A monastery on this scale is difficult to imagine and needless to say over the centuries it has been subjected to many changes of fortune due to wars, religious repression and other calamities. The main temple that can be seen today is a result of the restoration that was carried out in 1974 following the ten-year Chinese Cultural Revolution. - (Text from www.travelchinaguide.com
Keywords: China, Zhejiang, Buddha, Buddhist, temple, ceremonial and/or religious structures. Submitted by Budiman Wiharja.