Tourist Attractions in Hangzhou

West Lake
The West Lake is a visual poem: pleasure boats set against charming hills, lotus flowers in full bloom, bright red plum flowers in the afterglow of snow, moonlight shadows formed by the three pools, orioles on willow trees singing in the mist, hidden pavilions and the Broken Bridge from whence came the moving love story of the White Snake and Xu Xian, now a legend

Three Pools Mirroring the Moon
Three stone pagodas in the shape of bottle gourds rise from shimmering waves. The pagodas were built in 1621 (the first year of the Tianqi reign period of the Ming Dynasty) in the image of those constructed on the West Lake in the Northern Song dynasty period by Su Dongpo. Each pagoda, 2-m high, mounted on an oblate stone base, resembles a bottle gourd with five small openings. When moonlight filters through the openings, the reflection presents a lyrical picture that gives the place its name.

Remaining Snow on the Broken Bridge
Facing the mountain, east of the Bai Causeway on the watershed between the Outer Lake and Beili Lake, the Broken Bridge nudges Hangzhou and offers a spectacular view of the snow-coated West Lake in winter.

Su Causeway in Spring
Skirting the West Lake, the 2.8 km Su Causeway links Nanshan Road in the south with Beishan Road in the north. Its origins go back to Su Dongpo, a famous poet of the Northern Song dynasty, who served as governor of the Hangzhou Prefecture in 1089 (the fourth year of the Yuan­you reign period). Su Dongpo had West Lake dredged, and the causeway built with the silt. The best time to visit Su Causeway is spring.

Nine Streams and Misty Trees
At the foot of Jiguanlong Hill near West Lake, the ‘Nine Streams and 18 Ravines’ link the imposing Lingnan Mountain with the Qiantang River. From the vantage point of the Wangjiang Pavilion on Jiguanlong Hill, the view of the Qiantang River remains entrenched in memory: the river meanders in the shape of “z”, its misty surface fusing with the sky.

Lingyin Temple (Temple of the Soul’s Retreat)
At the southern foot of Beigao Peak, northwest of West Lake, stands one of the 10 extraordinary temples of the Chan Sect of Chinese Buddhism. The origins of the temple go back to 326 (the first year of the Xianhe reign period of the Eastern Jin dynasty), when the Indian monk Huili arrived at the oddly shaped yet beautiful peak. He believed that an immortal was hidden here and so, at his instructions, a temple was built, and called the ‘Temple of Soul’s Retreat’. The Grand Hall in the temple is one story high and has three layers of eaves, where the magnificent 20 m tall statue of Sakyamuni. seated on a lotus, was erected. Carved from 24 pieces of camphor wood and gilded in gold, the statue is surrounded by 20 guardian gods. Behind Sakyamuni is a group of sculptures of 150 Buddhas in different postures, each representing an episode from the Buddhist scriptures.

In front of the Grand Hall is the ‘Hall of the Heavenly King’, where you shall find the statue of Maitreya, the smiling bare­bellied Buddha, along with statues of Skanda, holding a wooden club to subdue demons, and four Heavenly Kings on both sides, each eight m tall

At the rear of the Grand Hall stand other sacred monuments: the Bhaisajyaguru Hall, the ‘Tower of Buddhist Scriptures’ and the Buddha­Avatam­saka Hall. To the east of the Grand Hall is the Hall of 500 Arhats.

The temple integrates history, culture, Buddhist art and customs as well as breathtaking landscapes.

Tourist Attractions
 
Suggested Itinerary
 
Festivals
 
Shopping
 
Entertainment
 
Restaurants
 
Hotels
 
Other information
© 2012 China National Tourist Office (New Delhi). All rights reserved