Xiangji Temple

In Chang'an County, 17 kilometers south of Xian, there stands a temple called Xiangji Temple (the temple of Haunting Fragrance). It is a Buddhist temple where the Tower of Sacrifice for Master Shandao, the second ancestor of the Buddhist Jingtu Sect, is located.

Shandao (613-681) left his family when he was only a child. He acknowledged Master Daochuo of the Jingtu religion as his teacher and studied Buddhist scriptures.

Subsequently he visited various temples of Chang'an preaching the Jingtu scripture. He supervised the construction of statue of Buddha Dalushena at the Longmen Grottoes in Luoyang and the stone statue in Fengxian Temple. The fragments of the Amitabha sutra, unearthed at the Gaochang Site of the Tuyu Valley in Today's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region and dating back to the Tang Dynasty, are from his writings, which reached as far as the border regions of the Tang dynasty. The Buddhist Jingtu branch if Japan derives from the teachings of Shandao. Japnaese disciples regard Shandao as "the Second Ancestor", and the Temple of Haunting Fragrance has become one of the sacred places of the Jingtu religion.

The temple was built by Shandao's favorite disciples in 706 AD, For the purpose of preserving their master's bier. Nearly all the buildings within the temple were damaged or destroyed during wars in the middle of the Tang Dynasty. In 1766 the temple was built for the first time. In 1979 it underwent large-scale renovation and enlargement. The Great Hero Treasure Temple was moved to the eastern side of the Shandao tower; golden stature of Amitabha and a wooden statue of Master Shandao, presented by Japanese friends, are enshrined here and worshipped.