光孝寺 Guangxiaosi, Bright Filial Piety Temple on Guangxiao Road is one of the oldest Buddhist temples in Guangzhou and was the mansion of Prince Zhao Jiande of the Nanyue Kingdom during the Western Han dynasty (206B.C.-A.D.24). It was first built as a temple by a Gandharan monk, Tanmo Yeshe in 401 during the Eastern Jin dynasty (317- 420). The monk Zhiyao (Sanzang) planted the fig trees.|
Bodhidharma, Damo 達摩 ?-536, the Indian Chan monk who traveled to China by way of the sea route from India, arrived in Guangzhou area in the early 6th century and visited this venerable temple before proceeding northward to spread his Chan Buddhism in China. In the 7th century Huineng, the 6th Patriarch of Chan sect of Buddhism was a novice monk at the 光孝寺 Guāngxiàosì.
The present temple, occupying an area of 31000 sq. m.,was rebuilt in the Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911). It is today a lovely temple complex with huge graceful halls and grounds, smack in the middle of Guangzhou.