Date Visited


Hong Kong

Po Lin Monastery




Po Lin Monastery is a Buddhist monastery, located on Lantau Island, Hong Kong. The monastery was founded in 1906 by three monks visiting from the Chinese mainland. It has developed and expanded over the years and incorporates a number of impressive structures of typical Chinese architecture. Within its halls are numerous statues, artifacts and Buddhist scriptures.  It became a major tourist attraction on the completion and opening of the Tian Tan Buddha, a giant statue located next to the monastery.


Po Lin 'Precious Lotus' Monastery in Ngong Ping, Lantau Island was founded in 1906 by three monks visiting from the Chinese mainland. Known originally as Da Mao Peng - The Big Hut, the name of the monastery was officially changed in 1924. 

It used to be a remote temple but gained popularity after the Tian Tan Buddha, a giant Buddha statue, was constructed on Muk Yue Mountain, which overlooks the monastery. The statue depicts Sakyamuni Buddha sitting on lotus pedestals in the meditation position. It is one of the biggest statues in the world being 26.4 metres tall and weighing 250 metric tons.

Construction began in 1981, and was completed in 1989, the opening ceremony took place in late-1993. The statue is made of a steel skeleton covered with two hundred and two bronze plates to form the "skin" of the Buddha. The statue was so named because its base resembles that of the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, China's capital. The pedestal has a three-story exhibition hall that comprises of the Sakyamuni Memorial, the Gongde and the Fajie halls. 268 steps lead up to the statue.

Since 2006 visitors are able to visit the monastery by the Ngong Ping 360 cable car which was officially opened on 18 September 2006 to enable visitors to get there directly, a journey that takes 25-minutes. Prior to this the way of getting to the monastery was by boat and then by a cliff edge road with a shear drop on one side.  

Leading into the monastery is the temple gateway and then facing the temple gateway is a smaller temple that leads to the main courtyard, inside which are statues of deities and guards protecting the entrance.


The Monastery incorporates a number of impressive structures of typical Chinese architecture, which contain a number of halls includes a shrine hall, the Hall of Ten Thousand Buddhas, an Exhibition Hall for Buddhist relics, a Meditation Hall, an abbot's chamber, a Scripture Library and other multi-functional facilities for cultural and tourist events.


Within its halls are numerous statues, artifacts, and Buddhist scriptures.


The most spectacular of these being the Main Shrine Hall of Buddha, the Great Hall of Bodhisattva Skanda. This is in the main temple which was built in the 1920's and it was from that time that the monastery started to develop as a place of pilgrimage. The Great Hall has a high ceiling which is lavishly decorated with paintings, hangings and lamps. At the Centre of the Great Hall are three Great Golden Buddha statues. 


The exterior of the building contains elaborately carved details on all aspects of the structure.

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              All  Photographs were taken by and are copyright of Ron Gatepain

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