The Forest of Stupas
Since Tanzhe Temple is a very large temple after ten dynasties, there were so many monks practiced Buddhism and spent their last years of life in the temple that a big group of monk’s tomb stupas left in long history. Up to now, there are more than seventy tomb stupas in all kind of styles from different dynasties left in the forest of stupas in the front of the temple. Some eminent monks in Jin, Yuan and Ming Dynasties were buried in the forest of stupas in the lower stupa courtyard. With different stupas in different styles, there are tombs of stone banner with sutra style, square one-storyed stupa style, brick stupa with thick eaves and stone stupa in Tibetan style. The stupa of Chan Master Hai Yun in the lower stupa courtyard is the most early one with a history of 800 years. It is a seven-storyed solid brick stupa with six sides and bugles in thick eaves. There is a horizontal inscribed board on the stupa written Stupa of Chan Master Fo-Ri Yuan-Tong Hai-Yun. The highest stupa in lower stupa courtyard is that of Chan Master Guang-Hui Tong-Li in Jin Dynasty in the center of the courtyard. It is a nine-storyed solid brick stupa with thick eaves. There is a large altar tables before the stupa with two sala trees in thousand years old beside. Its surroundings shows us the high position by Chan Master Guang-Hui Tong-Li in his life as well as in the temple. There is a stupa called Shi-Fang Pu-Tong Ta. It was for large numbers of common monks. There were so many monks in the temple, but they were well-organized and rigidly stratified. The remains of a senior monk could occupy one stupa after he passed away, but the remains of many common monks had been put into the only Shi-Fang Pu-Tong stupa after they passed away. It is a high solid brick stupa with Tibetan style in the east side of Chan Master Guang-Hui Tong-Li’s one. It is said that, there is one piece of brick in the stupa which can be taken out, and a large and deep grave in the bottom. Once there was a common monk passed away, the remains after his cremation would be put into a small jar. The brick would be taken out first, and the jar would be put into the grave then, lastly the brick would be put back to the stupa. It was built in the 42nd of Wanli Years in Ming Dynasty. In several hundreds of years, as the number of monks buried into the stupa is difficult to be counted, people call it the stupa of ten thousand monks.