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People's Daily Online>>Life & Culture

'Cradle of Chinese Buddhism' embraces world

By Liu Xiangrui and Li Yao (China Daily)

10:22, January 07, 2012

Two monks from Baima Temple pass a Thai-style shrine on Friday. The temple is planning to build an International Temples Zone featuring 10 exotic shrines from foreign countries. (Photo / China Daily)

LUOYANG, Henan - "It's unusual to see exotic Buddhist buildings at such an ancient Chinese temple. They're so delicate and look so different from the traditional Chinese temples next to them," said Tang Chan, a 22-year-old college student, looking at the Indian shrine at Baima Temple.

The Baima Temple - White Horse Temple - aspires to be not only the oldest, but also the largest and most international Buddhist temple in China.

Henan province, in Central China, has approved a plan to expand and renovate the temple into a 1,300 mu (87 hectare) cultural park over eight years, the largest in China by then. It currently covers 20 hectares.

The almost 2,000-year-old temple is creating an International Temples Zone to showcase 10 exotic shrines from foreign countries, said Wang Xiaohui, director of the religious affairs bureau in Luoyang, where the temple is located.

The Indian shrine opened in May 2010. A Thai shrine built in the 1990s is being expanded and will open in April.

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