Chi Lin Nunnery
I’m really excited about this post, mostly because its amazing that of all the times I’ve been in Hong Kong I’ve never known about this place. Its beyond beautiful and so serene. Chi Lin Nunnery is a place for solitude and reflection right in the centre of this crowded bustling city.
Established in 1934 and renovated in Tang dynasty style (AD 618–907) in 1990, the Chi Lin Nunnery is a large temple complex of elegant wooden architecture, treasured Buddhist relics and soul-soothing lotus ponds. The complex also includes a series of temple halls, some of which contain gold, clay and wooden statues representing divinities such as the Sakyamuni Buddha and bodhisattvas.
Right next to it is the Nan Lian Gardens which will be my next article.
The front entrance of the Nunnery, lined with really impressively beautiful yezo pine tree bonsai. The floor is a white marble stone and the whole vicinity speaks of tradition, purity and nature. Gone are the billboards and rubbish, this place is keep impeccably in order.
Above is the amazing panoramic picture of the garden within Chi Lin nunnery, notice how the surroundings are nothing but tall housing estates reaching for the sky.
The first interior of the nunnery is open to public, it’s basically the lotus & koi ponds, surrounded by more bonsais. The garden is symmetric like most olden Chinese structure, I’m sure (since this is hong kong) the water and wood elements are all strategically placed for good Feng Shui (风水) but still aesthetically pleasing.
Here again you can see the tall residential estates overlooking chi lin nunnery. I’m not sure if I think the tall buildings spoil the overall atmosphere of the nunnery when you look around, or that it provides a very real & interesting juxtaposition.
These beautiful roofs, transport me back in time.
Mist covering the hills just behind the Nunnery.
We enter the final quarters of Chi Lin Nunnery, here are where most of the Buddha and bodhisattvas lies. While the Nunnery is open to public and has become a tourist destination. It is the home of 60 Nuns and other members who come here to worship and pray.
I wasn’t allow to take pictures in this section of the nunnery because it is the place where the nuns pray and find solitude. I didn’t know this until a guard stop me, but here are some pictures of the place. There are no pictures of the nuns to respect them.
Rock formation galleries line the hallways.
A little pathway up to the hills I suppose, looks serene and inviting but its out of access.
I invite you to open your mind and visit this place when you are in Hong Kong. It is a totally fresh new perspective to the city and it amazing me how contrasting this place is. You can always find beautiful in unexpected places.
To get here :
Just a 5-minute walk from the Diamond Hill Station, exiting at C2, you immediately find the Chi Lin Nunnery amidst the high-rise buildings. This complex currently has three courtyards of which only two are open to the public. Entrance is absolutely free and is open from 9am – 4:30pm daily.
Eat here :
I did not see any premises to eat here but almost all buddhist temples have a place where they offer free vegetarian food. It’s not always open so do check. However, in Nan Lian Gardens there is a famous vegetarian restaurant that is worth a try, if you’re not into vegan stuff the nearby shopping centres would feed your growling stomach just fine.