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Mahavira Hall

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A Mahavira Hall, usually simply known as a Main Hall, is the main hall or building in a traditional Chinese Buddhist temple, enshrining representations of Gautama Buddha and various other buddhas and bodhisattvas.[1][2] It is encountered throughout East Asia, including in some Japanese Buddhist Main Halls.

Mahavira Hall
Mahavira Hall of Nam Tin Chuk Temple Fu Yung Shan Tsuen Wan Hong Kong.JPG
Mahavira Hall of Nam Tin Chuk Temple () in Hong Kong
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese大雄殿
Simplified Chinese大雄殿
Literal meaningPrecious Hall of the Great Hero
Korean name
Japanese name



From their importance and use, they are often simply known in English as the temples' "Main" or "Great Halls". The term "Mahavira Hall", also encountered as "Mahāvīra Hall" or "Hall of the Mahāvīra", is a reverse translation, employing the original Sanskrit term in place of its Chinese or English equivalent. They are also known as the Precious Hall of the Great Hero, the Hall of Great Strength, or the Daxiongbao Hall. Less often, a main hall is called an "adytum", after the equivalent area in Greco-Roman temples.[3] It is also sometimes misunderstood as the "Great, Powerful, and Precious Palace".[4]


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Fotopoulou, Sophia (September 15, 2002). "The Layout of a Typical Chinese Buddhist Temple". Retrieved February 28, 2011.
  2. ^ "The Art of Buddha Teaching (佛法教学的)" (in Chinese). Retrieved February 28, 2011.
  3. ^ Thomson, John (1874), Illustrations of China and Its People: A Series of Two Hundred Photographs with Letterpress Descriptive of the Places and People Represented, Vol. I, London: Sampson Low, Marston, Low, & Searle, "Honam Temple, Canton".
  4. ^ Wright, G.N. (1843), China, in a Series of Views, Displaying the Scenery, Architecture, and Social Habits, of that Ancient Empire, Vol. III, London: illustrated by Thomas Allom for Fisher, Son, & Co., p. 66.

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