The Gao Feng Chan (Peak) Temple, located in the De Qing county, Hu Zhou city, Zhejiang province, has a history of more than 1,500 years and is one of the eight major schools of Buddhism today. In August 2005, Hu Jushi and Wu Deshi became the new hosts of the Gao Feng Temple. They appointed experts who were asked to re-plan and design the temple. In the past six years alone, more than 30 million yuan (£3.5 million) has been invested in this re-development to restore the glory of this Buddhist temple.
According to the ‘Mo Gan Shan Mountain Records’, this temple was built in the first year of Liang Tian Jian during the Southern and Northern Dynasties (AD 502). From the Tang Dynasty till the Year of the Sui Dynasty (AD 1274), there was a Zen master from the Lin'an Longxu Mountain who moved into this place, and he renamed the temple as Linji Daochang. In the year of the Southern Song Dynasty's demise (AD 1279), the Miao Zen Master retired to Tianmu and drilled a cave room in the mountain. He named the cave ‘Dead Pass’ and remained there in solitary confinement for 15 years while practising meditation. He is today known as the East Peak Buddha. During the first year of Yuan Zhen (AD 1295), the Miao Zen Master passed away, and the Emperor Yuan Wuzong’s honoured him with a title: ‘The Zen Master of Fo Ri Pu Ming Guangji’. On that day, the temple was named after the local mountain.
At the end of the Yuan Dynasty, the temple was destroyed during the war. In the 11th year of Ming Hongwu (AD 1378), the first reconstruction and expansion of the temple began. From the 11th year of Jiajing (AD 1533), the temple was fully refurbished and repaired in just thirty-one years (completed AD 1564). This last operation over thirty-one years included new expansions for the building such as the Tianwang Hall, the Daxiong Hall, the Tibetan Classical Court, and the Abbot Room. By the end of the Qing Dynasty, the temple had already surpassed the former’s size. In the years of Guang Xu (Qing Dynasty), there were more than two hundred monks living in the temple.
In the area surrounding the main temple, there are several buildings for pilgrims and tourists to stay. The covered climbing galleries connect all the buildings together, from the main temples to the side dormitories. One of these galleries is 300 meters long, making it one the longest covered corridors around a temple in the whole of China. In addition to the main buildings and the temple, with their corridors, patios, doors and windows, the gardens, and natural landscapes galvanise the majestic beauty of the area with their exotic flowers and trees.
Check the Previous Editions 2018 page to find out more about at the location and the residency.