My 5: Jile Temple (Monastery of Bliss) – Harbin, China.

Jile Temple Monastery of Bliss Harbin Heilongjiang province China

1. February 2010. Harbin’s beautiful Jile Temple, also known as the Monastery of Bliss, was constructed in 1924 by Master Tanxu, a famous disciple of the Tiantai Buddhist clan. Although firmly under the radar as a Harbin attraction, the temple stands as the biggest Buddhist building complex in Heilongjiang Province and draws a steady flow of worshippers. 

Jile Temple Monastery of Bliss Harbin Heilongjiang province China

2. February 2010. Located on East Dazhi Street in the city’s leafy Nangang district, you can get out here from the city centre on one of the many buses that stop by (3, 6, 14, 33, 37, 53, 55, 66, 74, 92, 104, 105) or maybe just jump on line 1 of the Harbin Subway and get off at the Engineering University. The area directly outside the temple is a bit rough and ready and a favorite haunt of beggars and the disabled, who make an immediate beeline for foreigners.

Jile Temple Monastery of Bliss Harbin Heilongjiang province China

3. February 2010. A seven-story pagoda dominates the main courtyard, along with a huge bronze statue of Sakyamuni, the legendary sage whose teachings heavily influenced the birth of Buddhism. But I found myself more interested in this pagoda statuette and the tradition of coin throwing. The man was trying to land a coin in the top platform, a so-called appeasement to the gods of wealth.

Jile Temple Monastery of Bliss Harbin Heilongjiang province China

4. February 2010. The smell of incense burning wafts through the entire temple complex. And with daily temperatures of minus fifteen, the urns are also a great opportunity to warm one’s hands by the fire before moving onto the next courtyard.

Jile Temple Monastery of Bliss Harbin Heilongjiang province China

5. February 2010. There are several striking halls to pass through that are home to a series of impressive Buddha statues. The most inspiring is The Hall of Mahavira with its two commanding stone lions standing guard at the entrance. Jile Temple is open all year, but is best seen in April during the Buddhist festivals of the 8th, 18th and 28th. Whatever the date, the entrance fee is a negligent 10RMB.

For more on this unique city, check out my other 5s from around Harbin, as well as my short story Sub Zero Adventures.

Like these? Then why not take a look at my zillion 5s from all around China.

And I’ve written a short story series called Challenged In China.

I’ve been living, working and traveling all over the world since 2001, so why not check out my huge library of My 5s from over 30 countries.

Leighton Literature travel reports short stories travel blogger

Posted by

Freelance travel writer, voice over and English teacher from London. Former music and film journalist, interviewer of the stars. Passionate about travel, film, music, football, Indian food.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.