The Dazhao, or 銀佛寺 Yinfosi, Silver Buddha Temple sits in the old town section of Huhhot, Inner Mongolia. The word 召 zhao is another word for temple that is used in the Inner Mongolian context in place of the normal Chinese word 寺 si.|
This photo is of a brocade tapestry hanging in the old hall off to the side, which depicts a vision of hell with savage beasts devouring bodies. As is usual in this male world of Buddhism, most of the bodies, of course naked, are women. These pictures of Buddhist hells one finds in temples seem to be the Buddhist equivalent of Playboy Magazine for the poor sex starved monks.
In 1572 of the Ming Dynasty, the ruler of Tumote Mongolia, Altan Khan was awarded the title 'Shunyi Emperor' by the Ming emperor. Basking in the glory of this special honor, he enlarged this built in the 8th year Wanli Year, 1580 and named it the 弘慈寺 Hongcisi. In the temple was a statue of Sakyamuni made entirely of silver, so the Hongci Temple has also been called the Silver Buddha Temple. We do not know if the present silver Buddha is the original, perhaps not.