Marvel at religious statues, including the giant figure of a laughing Buddha when you walk through this prominent temple complex.
Dominated by a towering laughing Buddha statue, Paochueh Temple is one of Taichung’s most recognizable landmarks. Go on a self-guided tour of the temple grounds and study the giant figure in more detail.
The large golden statue rises up 88.5 feet (27 meters) in the air and is in a seated position atop a large pedestal. According to Buddhist tradition, the pot-bellied icon is of Maitreya Buddha, an enlightened being who will become the future Buddha of the world. It is claimed to be one of the largest and fattest laughing Buddhas in Taiwan. Focus your attention on the figure’s joyful and friendly smile which is designed to infect others with happiness.
Nearby is the main temple, which was founded in 1927. The old building has been renovated many times over the years and has now been incorporated into a larger structure. It is one of the city’s few Zen Buddhist temples, a reflection of the Japanese colonial period in Taiwan. Take a look inside the temple’s main hall, which is dedicated to Sakyamuni Buddha, whose teachings gave rise to Buddhism. Examine the golden statues and colorful decorative artwork.
During your time on the temple grounds, visit the Shinto shrine which honors the Japanese soldiers who fought during World War II. A number of Japanese people were cremated and interred here after the war and many Japanese tourists come to pay their respects.
Elsewhere in the complex, find the statue of Guanyin, an East Asian deity venerated by Buddhists. The sculpture was a present from Japan after World War II.
Paochueh Temple is situated in Taichung’s North District, little more than 1 mile (1.6 kilometers) from Taichung Park. To get there, take a bus from the city’s main train station. The temple is open daily and admission is free.