Lianxi Buddhist Temple (莲溪寺), located at the intersection of Dingziqiao Road and Xiongchu Avenue in Wuchang District of Wuhan, capital city of central China's Hubei Province, is quite secluded from the surrounding urban area.
It is detached from the urban jungle by a large wall. This temple is located 40 meters from the busy Xiongchu Avenue, but it is not easy to find.
The design for the main gate and the outer wall resembles the Chinese character for mountain, "山" (shan). The traditional architecture, which is characterized by white walls, red tiles, and large cornices, gives all who enter a sense of history concerning all that this great temple has witnessed over the years. Above the main gate are the characters "莲溪寺" (Lianxi Buddhist Temple). Historical records suggest that the characters above the main gate were written by the late Abbot Chang Ming (昌明大师) of Guiyuan Buddhist Temple.
The layout for Lianxi Buddhist Temple is both centralized and symmetrical. Inside, visitors can see clearly a succession of halls and palaces spread out along an invisible central axis. The temple complex consists of several main halls and a few auxiliary facilities located on the east and west sides of the complex.
One of the many unique characteristics of Lianxi Buddhist Temple is that the main buildings create four distinct courtyards; they are divided by the former main gate, the Hall of Maitreya (弥勒殿), the Hall of Mahavira (大雄宝殿), and a meditation hall. To the east is the hall of abstinence, the Institute of Buddhism, and the Hall of the Abbots, and to the west is the monastic reception hall and the Hall of 1,000 Buddhas.
Of special note is the Hall of Mahavira, the main hall. Inside this hall, there is a bronze statue of Siddhārtha Gautama, or Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. This statue is more than three meters tall. 18 statues of great arhats surround the main statue of Buddha. A giant iron bell and a great drum are situated on each side of the hall.
What makes this temple particularly sacred is the "great treasure of the temple," a dark jade statue of Guanyin (观音), the Buddhist goddess of mercy, which was created during the Northern Wei Dynasty.