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    Located in the Qiaotou Village about six kilometers (four miles) to Pingyao, the Shuanglin Temple is reputed to be the 'ancient painted sculptures museum'. The temple houses more than 2,000 colorful sculptures reflecting the exquisite skills of the artisans of the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties. The Shuanglin Temple was included in the World Heritage List by UNESCO as an important cultural site of Ping Yao City in 1997.

    Originally, the Shuanglin Temple was called the Zhongdu Temple but it was renamed Shuanglin during the Song Dynasty (960-1127). In Chinese, Shuang means two or double, and Lin, forest. The temple got its name from a Buddhist story. According to the Buddhist sutra, Sakyamuni who was the founder of Buddhism, entered nirvana under two trees; Hence, its name Shuanglin.

    Reconstructed in 571, the Shuanglin Temple has a history of about 1,400 years. The temple consists of ten large and small halls, and the sutra chanting hall and the monks' rooms. The ten halls include the Heavenly Kings' Hall, the Arhats' Hall, the Mahavira Hall (Da Xiong Bao Dian), and the One-Thousand Buddha Hall, the Sakyamuni Hall, the Bodhisattva Hall, the Ti-tsang Bodhisattva Hall, the Guan Yu's Hall and two other halls. Guan Yu was a famous general of Shu during the Period of Three Kingdoms. Later, he would be worshipped as a god.