Lingyin Temple is one of Hangzhou's most popular attractions. It was the site of a temple during the Eastern Jin dynasty (317-420), and after its development during the Five Dynasties (907-960) it became a thriving monastery. Destroyed and rebuilt no fewer than 16 times since, the present structures are renovated Qing dynasty buildings.
The two largest buildings are the Hall of the Heavenly Kings and the Hall of the Great Hero, the latter being one of the tallest single-story buildings in China and featuring a huge wooden statue of the Sakyamuni Buddha covered in gold leaf, behind which is a statue of the Guanyin, or Goddess of Mercy. The complex contains an important collection of Buddhist sutras.
Nearby attractions include the ancient Buddhist rock carvings of Feilai Feng, and the Ling Ying Restaurant which serves traditional Buddhist vegetarian food.