Wenshu Monastery is one of China’s key sinophone Buddhist temples recognized by the State Council. It is rated as the first of the Four Zen Monasteries along the Yangtze River, as well as a key cultural relic acknowledged by Sichuan Province. It is located in the downtown of Chengdu city, Sichuan Province. It is not only an attraction combining Buddhist relics, beautiful gardens, ancient architecture for the layfolk, but also a sacred place for pilgrimage, religious studies and practice.
The monastery was first built during the Daye period of Sui Dynasty (605-617) with its original name of Xin Xiang Monastery, and went through the rise and fall in the dynasties of Tang, Five Dynasties, Song, Yuan and Ming, but unfortunately a complete ravage in wars at the end of Ming Dynasty. In the 36th year of the Kangxi reign of Qing Dynasty (1697), the monastery was rebuilt by a Zen master named Cidu Haiyue. During the construction, a splendid beam of light was observed over the monastery. People traced the light to the retreat of Master Cidu Haiyue and believed he was the incarnation of Manjusri Bodhisattva. That’s how the Xin Xiang Monastery was renamed as Wenshu Monastery. In the 40th year of Kangxi Period of Qing Dynasty (1701), Emperor Kangxi granted the Wenshu Monastery a plaque “Kong Lin”, meaning the temple of void, so Wenshu Monastery is also known as the “Kong Lin Hall”.