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A closer look at Jiming Temple and Xuanwu Lake (@200mm on APS-C)

Discovering Serenity at Nanjing’s Jiming Temple

or “Capturing the Spirit of Tranquility: Exploring Nanjing’s Jiming Temple for Content Creators”

For those on the lookout for unique and breathtaking locations to capture on camera, Jiming Temple (鸡鸣寺) in Nanjing is a must-visit destination. Not only is it one of the oldest temples in the city, but it also boasts stunning architecture and breathtaking views perfect for Instagram and TikTok.

History: A Glimpse into the Past

The temple’s rich history dates back to the Eastern Jin dynasty (317-420 AD) and has since been destroyed and rebuilt numerous times. Named after a rooster that crowed every day at dawn to wake up the monks, Jiming Temple is now home to the Jiangsu Nizhang Buddhist College, a hidden niche library that many visitors miss.

Myth and Legend

Centuries ago, there was a powerful centipede spirit that lived on Jiuhua Mountain near Xuanwu Lake in Nanjing. This creature was capable of spewing poisonous flames, causing harm to both people and livestock. When the Jade Emperor in heaven learned of this, he dispatched the Golden Rooster from the Heavenly Palace to deal with the centipede.

The Golden Rooster arrived on Earth and witnessed the centipede spewing flames. According to the legend, the crowing of the Golden Rooster frightened away the centipede and dispersed the poisonous flames. However, the centipede quickly recovered and resumed its attack. The Golden Rooster then attacked the centipede by biting it on top of the North Pole Pavilion.

From that day forward, the temple on Jiuhuashan Mountain was known as Jiming Temple, in honour of the Golden Rooster that had eliminated the harm caused by the centipede. The temple is also referred to as the Temple of the Rooster.

The Ritual of Making Wishes at Jiming Temple

For those who wish to make a wish, the temple offers a strict process for offering incense at Jiming Temple. Upon entering visitors receive three incense sticks and can follow the signs to the incense room located at the highest part of the temple. There a lotus lamp holds the sacred fire. After meditating on their wish, visitors light the incense and raise it in front of the plaque of “The Sea of Incense of the Rooster,” facing the east, north, and south three times while holding the incense flat to the forehead and higher than the lower gods.

What to See: Capturing the Beauty

Aside from the temple’s historical significance, visitors can also capture the temple’s beauty through ornate carvings, colourful murals, and intricate statues. The towering pagoda, which rises above the temple, offers stunning views of the city and nearby Xuanwu Lake. Don’t forget to snap a photo of the intricate architecture and details, such as the beautiful lotus flower carvings on the temple’s pillars.

Hidden Library 

In addition to its impressive history and stunning architecture, Jiming Temple also has a fascinating library that many visitors may not know about. The Jiangsu Nizhang Buddhist College is a niche library located within the temple, which was established in 1958 when the temple was transformed into a Nizhang Dojo. Over the years, the ancient Jiming Temple has gradually transformed from an incense dojo to a nunnery study and training dojo, with the Prajna Temple serving as a platform to promote Buddhist teachings to the outside world and the Nuns’ Buddhist College within the temple as the first of its kind in Jiangsu.

The library is open daily from 9:00-16:00, except on Wednesdays when it is closed. Visitors can explore the library’s impressive collection of Buddhist texts and scriptures, which date back to ancient times. For those interested in Buddhist studies and history, a visit to the library is a must.

Eat: Noodle Soup with a View

After a morning of exploring, visitors can refuel at the temple’s fantastic vegetarian restaurant, which serves noodle soup with a view. The speciality of the house is a vegetarian noodle dish with a good meaning: “a lifetime of peace and happiness.”

Location: Getting There

Now that you’re convinced to visit Jiming Temple, here’s what you need to know about getting there. 

The temple is open daily from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, and admission costs 35 yuan per person. Make sure to bring your passport with you, as it’s required for foreigners for purchasing a ticket to enter. 

I recommend avoiding the weekend, if possible. It can be very crowded at the Jiming Temple.

Location: 江苏省南京市玄武区鸡鸣寺路1号 (Baidu , Google)

Although the Jiming Temple is not included in the Nanjing Annual Card, it is definitely worth the extra cost to visit this remarkable site.

Conclusion: Finding Tranquility in the City

Visiting Jiming Temple in Nanjing is a unique opportunity to step back in time and experience the rich history and beauty of this ancient Buddhist temple. From the stunning views to the hidden library, there is something for everyone here. Whether you’re a content creator looking for the perfect Instagram shot or someone seeking a moment of peace and tranquillity in the bustling city, Jiming Temple is a must-see destination. Don’t miss out on the chance to make a wish and capture the spirit of tranquillity at this remarkable site.

Let’s get in touch on Instagram, feel free to send me a direct message. I would love to hear about your experiences at Jiming Temple.

You can find more Ideas for Travelling in this Section of my Homepage

This post is also one of my new series about Nanjing. Go back to the post: Nanjing’s Top Instagram & TikTok Spots for Content Creators. (coming soon)

If you’re looking additionally for tips or information on ultra-wide-angle lenses for your photography or vlogging, I just published a guide to Ultra-Wide Angle Lenses for Sony APS-C. A UWA Lens will be very helpful in this narrow temple 🙂

Frederic Konkel

My name is Frederic B. Konkel and to capture landscapes and cityscapes is a big passion of mine. I'm currently back in Berlin, Germany. I love to explore new places and I'm using my cameras to document these moments. On F.B.K. Photography I showcase a few impressions of my captured moments from around the world.