China to expand oldest Buddhist temple
Beijing: China kicked off the expansion of the country’s oldest Buddhist temple by holding a site-cleansing ceremony at 1,943-year-old Baima Temple in central China’s Henan Province.
A new ‘Hall of Ten Thousand Buddhas’, designed in Han Dynasty style and with a floor space of 13,891 square meters, will be added to the ancient temple in Luoyang city, local religious affairs authority said.
The 1,943-year-old Baima Temple, also known as the White Horse Temple, was the first Buddhist temple in China and is considered “the cradle of Chinese Buddhism” by most believers.
The municipal government of Luoyang in 2012 approved a plan to build a cultural park around the temple within eight years, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
The temple went through two major expansions in history, by Empress Wu in 685 AD and by Emperor Shizong of Ming Dynasty in 1555 AD.
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