Tiantong Temple is Located at the foot of undulated Taibai Mountain, resting upon six hillsides in the east, west and north and an avenue in the south. The temple was built in 300 AD in the West Jin Dynasty. With its history of 1700 years, the temple is 90 years older than the Lingyin Temple in Hangzhou. As one of the ten sacred temples of the Buddhist Chan sect, Tiantong Temple is also known as "Buddha's Holy Land in Southeast China".
The ancient Tiantong Temple enjoys a loud prestige not only for its Buddhist significance, but also for its picturesque surroundings, cuddling against the soaring Taibai Mountain, in the neighborhood of luxuriant pines and bamboos, a beauty that could only be found here. For centuries the "Three Passes" and "Ten Highlights" of the temple are tantalizing romantic and poetic minds.
It is due to the charming environment of mountains and water in the area that Yixing, a monk living 1700 years ago, decided to build a temple here. Legend says the Heavenly King sent God Taibai to the mortal world incarnated as a child, who assisted Venerable Master Yixing in building the temple. Thus the mountain is named Taibai and the temple Tiantong, which means "heavenly child".
There are eastern and western Zen halls in Tiantong Temple. The eastern one is now the show room of Buddhism relics and presents given by foreign Buddhists. The weastern one, 7 rooms 27.7m in width and 5 rooms 16.3m in depth, is for dhyana and the whole monks hold ceremony here every wniter.
There are altogether 19 arhat halls holding eighteen arhats with lively and vivid expression and posture which were made by Monk Zhuchan in 1918.