Xiyuan (Western) Garden,
a Famous Temple Garden in Suzhou
After Buddhism had spread into China from India, it combined with traditional Chinese culture and achieved widespread influence. The area in and around Suzhou abounds in Buddhist temples. A salient feature of these temples is that they are blended with garden buildings, so that a temple is not only a solemn establishment but there is also something elegant about it as well. A typical example of this is the Xiyuan Garden.
The Xiyuan Garden is laid out a shapely plan, and consists of the Jiezhuanglu Temple and a pond for freeing captive animals. Situated at Xiatang Street outside the Jinmen Gate. it was originally built during the Yuan Dynasty and embraces such buildings as the Hall of the Four Heavenly Kings, the Mahavira Hall, and the Tripitaka Pavilion.
A kiosk is found in the center of the pool in the Xiyuan Garden, where visitors are drawn to free captive animals in it. Roaming freely in the pool are a 300-year-old turtle and a swarm of harp in multiple hues.