Baoguo Temple is a thousand-year-old renowned temple and one of the first cultural relic sites designated to be specially preserved in China. Baoguo Temple is situated at the foot of Mount Feishilin in Jiangbei District of Ningbo City, thirteen kilometers away from the downtown Ningbo City.
As a cultural relic spot under state-level protection, it was initially established in the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220) and rebuilt and expanded in later dynasties. The present Baoguo Temple is a mixture of constructions made by various dynasties. The Grand Hall in Baoguo Temple is one of the oldest and best-preserved wooden structures in South Yangtze region of China, invaluable to the nation's architectural studies.
At the gate of Baoguo Temple stand two stone pillars with Buddhist scriptures, which date back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Inside the temple, along the central axis are located the Mahavira Hall (the Grand Hall), the Kwanyin Hall, the Devaraja Hall and the Scripture Repository. Around the Grand Hall are scattered the Bell Tower, the Drum Tower and the Guest House, and so forth.
The Grand Hall is the main construction of the temple. Built in the Song Dynasty (960-1279), it is one of the oldest and the best-preserved example of wooden architecture south of the Yangtze River. Today, the Grand Hall is still a mystery to scientists. No bird builds its nest in the Grand Hall; even no insect lives in the hall and the hall always remains free of dust.
Some say that it's because the wood used in the hall gives out a special scent which frightens away these insects. More people believe it's because of its extraordinary style of construction. The hall is built without a single nail and the girders, pillars, columns are joined together neatly. When the wind comes into the hall, it swirls and produces a sound wave which scares off birds and insects and takes away the dust.
There are 17 showrooms open to the public, such as the exhibition rooms of Kwanyin statues, bronze wares, the local customs of marriage, and notable scientific and technological discoveries and inventions of the 20th century. Tourists have the chance to enrich themselves with knowledge during their visit.