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Starting to wonder whether any of these “ancient” structures in China are actually old? Head to this temple for something indisputably aged.
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The Mahavira Hall of the Baoguo Temple on the outskirts of Ningbo is the oldest surviving wooden structure in the Yangzi delta region and the second oldest in all of southern China (the oldest is in Fuzhou). The temple dates back to the Tang Dynasty, and some its columns still date to that period, and its famous hall was built in 1013 A.D. during the Northern Song Dynasty. There are also Ming and Qing Dynasty halls. Overall the temple reflects China’s religious syncretism, a Mahayana Buddhist temple with Confucian bronzes. Mahavira himself was a spiritual figure from Jainism. There are numerous exhibits, including some on traditional Ningbo furniture and another displaying engraved stories from the lives of famous scholars, ministers, hermits, monks and generals with detailed explanatory plaques in English.
The scenic area surrounding the temple is also pleasant to walk around but beware of dehydration in the scorching summer.
How to get here: You can take the 332 or the 338 bus routes to the 保国寺bus station.
Price: The entrance ticket is 20 RMB. The temple is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
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