Considered one of the most important Zen Buddhist temples in western Sichuan, Zhaojue Temple dates back to the seventh century. While few traces of the original buildings remain, Zhaojue Temple is regarded as the ancestral temple for many Japanese and Southeast Asian Buddhist temples.
Surrounded by towering pines, cypress, and bamboo in the foreground and verdant mountains in the distance, Zhaojue Temple is known as a place of peace and tranquility in the otherwise bustling city of Chengdu. Visitors can stroll around the grounds—the temple charges a small entrance fee for cultural visits—and enjoy a meal at the excellent on-site vegetarian restaurant. The temple is located next door to the Chengdu Zoo, and some guided tours to see the animals at the popular Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding also include a stop at Zhaojue Temple.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Zhaojue Temple is a must-visit for spiritual travelers, history buffs, and those looking to get off the beaten path.
- Give yourself about an hour to tour the temple complex.
- Remember to dress respectfully, as this is an active place of worship.
How to Get There
Zhaojue Temple is located at 333 Zhaoqing Road in the Chenghua District of Chengdu, about 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the Chengdu city center. Several buses stop at the Zhaojue Si bus station. You can also take metro line 3 to the Chengdu Zoo.
When to Get There
The temple is open daily throughout the year. Plan to visit on a clear day, particularly if you plan to stop at the zoo next door. Avoid visiting on Chinese national holidays.
Buddhist Temples of Chengdu
While Zhaojue is among the largest and most important of Chengdu’s temples, it certainly isn’t the only one worth visiting. Situated in downtown, Wenshu Monastery is considered one of the best-preserved Buddhist sites in the city, while nearby Daci Temple is where famous monk Xuan Zang was ordained. Baoguang Temple stands north of the city and is known for its well-preserved wooden architecture.