- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
- Chinese Phrases
Big Bell Temple (Dàzhôngsì)
Big Bell Temple (Dàzhôngsì) Review
This 18th-century temple shields China's biggest bell and more than 400 smaller bells and gongs from the Ming, Song, and Yuan dynasties. The Buddhist temple—originally used for rain prayers—has been restored after major damage inflicted during the Cultural Revolution. Before it opened as a museum in 1985, the buildings were used as Beijing No. 2 Food Factory. The bells here range from a giant 7 meters (23 feet) high to hand-sized chimes, many of them corroded to a pale green by time.
The giant, two-story bell, inscribed with the texts of more than 100 Buddhist scriptures (230,000 Chinese characters), is also said to be China's loudest. Believed to have been cast during Emperor Yongle's reign, the sound of this 46-ton relic can carry more than 15 km (10 miles) when struck forcibly. The bell rings 108 times on special occasions like Spring Festival, one strike for each of the 108 personal worries defined in Buddhism. People used to throw coins into a hole in the top of the bell for luck. The money was swept up by the monks and used to buy food. Enough money was collected in a month to buy provisions that would last for a year. You can ride the subway to the temple: transfer from Dongzhimen on Line 2 to the above-ground Line 13 and go one stop north to Dazhong Si station.
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- World Cup Fever: Start planning your trip to Brazil!
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
With hot temperatures and sometimes poor air quality, visiting Beijing during the summer months can sometimes be miserable.
However, during our visit we were fortunate to have nice weather as we head from Read more
A short Beijing Metro ride and we surface in search of our destination to experience some more of for us amazing Beijing. Read more
My husband will be in Shanghai for a week and I would like him to bring something back.
I'm female, almost 65 and wonder what they have that you can't find here - . Not sure what's on people's shopping Read more
· News & Features
This week, we covered top destinations for great family getaways—from Disney World to dinosaur spotting. ... Read more
Go on location in Görlitz, Germany, to the transporting set of director Wes Anderson's film... Read more
Kick off spring with some of this year's best events and hotel packages in Washington, D.C.... Read more