A Journey To Diamond Hill Hong Kong Part 23:05 PM
This post is the second part to the journey to Diamond Hill in Kowloon, Hong Kong.
Adjacent to the Nan Lian Garden is the Chi Lin Nunnery. You need not go out of the garden if you want to explore this as well. I was hesitant to go because I wasn't Catholic in the first place but the curious case in me won. When we entered the nunnery, we experienced tremendous silence and calmness and it wasn't the nunnery I was expecting. I truly enjoyed looking around all corners of this tourist spot.
Covering a space of more than 33,000 square meters, the temple complex includes a nunnery, temple halls, Chinese gardens and a vegetarian restaurant. The temple hall have statues of the Sakyamuni Buddha, the goddess of mercy Guanyin and other Bodhisattvas. These statues are made from gold, clay, wood and stone. When we went there, a Buddhist service was ongoing so we were able to hear the chants and we rested in one of the benches when the service was finished so we saw everyone garbed in their religious clothing. I tried to ask one of the attendees of the service if they are required to wear the clothing when attending but I didn't get any answer as she didn't understand my question and she didn't understand English too.
The Chi Lin Nunnery is a serene place, with lotus ponds, immaculate bonsai tea plants and blooming bougainvilleas, and silent nuns delivering offerings of fruit and rice to Buddha and arhats (Buddhist disciples freed from the cycle of birth and death) or chanting behind intricately carved screens. The design (involving intricately interlocking sections of wood joined without a single nail) is intended to demonstrate the harmony of humans with nature. It’s pretty convincing – until you look up at the looming neighbourhood high-rises behind the complex. You enter the complex through the Sam Mun, a series of ‘three gates’ representing the Buddhist precepts of compassion, wisdom and ‘skilful means’. The first courtyard, which contains the delightful Lotus Pond Garden, gives way to the Hall of Celestial Kings, with a large statue of the seated Buddha surrounded by the deities of the four cardinal points. Behind that is the main hall, containing a statue of the Sakyamuni Buddha flanked by two standing disciples and two seated bodhisattvas (Buddhist holy people). -Lonely Planet
The four holy sites as places of pilgrimage for Buddhists are Lumbini, where the Buddha was born, Bodh Gaya, where the Buddha was enlightened under the Bodhi tree; Sarnath, where the Buddha gave his first teaching of the Dharma; and Kusinagara, where the Buddha passed away.
The temple halls and the Chinese garden in front of the nunnery is open to the public daily without charge. However, it is prohibited to take pictures of the buddhas and the architecture of the nunnery.
Next Post: The Peak/Tram Ride/Madam Tussauds Wax Museum