Baoguo Monastery, Mahāvīra Treasure Hall  保國寺大雄寶殿


  • Mahāvīra Treasure Hall (English)
  • 大雄寶殿 (Traditional Chinese)
  • 大雄宝殿 (Simplified Chinese)
  • Dàxióngbǎodiàn (Pinyin)
  • Ta-hsiung-pao-tien (Wade-Giles)
  • Baoguosi Daxiongbaodian (English)
  • 保國寺大雄寶殿 (Traditional Chinese)
  • 保国寺大雄宝殿 (Simplified Chinese)
  • Daxiongbaodian


  • Coordinates:
    • Lat. 29.983° Long. 121.516833°
  • Site Information

    The Mahavira Treasure Hall (Daxiongbaodian 大雄寶殿) is a building in a Buddhist Monastery that is dedicated to the worship of Sakyamuni Buddha. The Mahavira Treasure Hall at Baoguo Monastery was first built in 1013 during the Northern Song Dynasty and was originally three bays in width and depth with a single eaves hip-gable roof (shaliangtou 厦兩頭) (Guo 2003, 77). During a renovation in the Qing Dynasty, two rows of pillars were added to the front, left, and right of the building to create a double-eaves hall, expanding the building to five bays (seven if the exterior wall is included) in width and six bays in depth. Only one layer of eaves was added to the back because of the site’s sloping topography (Guo 2003, 33-39; Yang 1987, 46). The roof of the building is supported by an eight-rafter beam structure. The transverse roof frame extends eight rafters using a three-rafter beam in the front bay, a three-rafter beam in the central bay, and a rufu tie beam (乳栿) spanning two rafters in the back (中国文物局 2010, 117). These are all supported using four pillars from front to back. All sixteen of the pillars supporting the original Mahavira Treasure Hall are lobed and tapered composite pillars ("guasuozhu 瓜梭柱"), with six different variations. This is significant in Chinese architectural history because Baoguo Monastery Mahavira Treasure Hall’s pillars are the earliest remaining timber examples of this technique. Similar pillars are seen in stone buildings from the Song Dynasty (Guo 2003, 86). Another important artifact of the Mahavira Treasure Hall is the painting on the lan'e (闌額). The painting follows the “seven red eight white” (qizhu babai 七朱八白)method described in the Yingzao fashi (營造法式 1103; Li 2009, 14.10a). 2

    Date 1013
    Dynasty Northern Song 960 - 1127 1

    Works Cited

    Any information without attribution has been created following the editorial guidelines.

    • 1 WILKINSON. 2000. Chinese History: A Manual, 12.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record
    • 2 国家文物局. 2010. 中国文物地图集·浙江分册, 117.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 郭. 2003. 东来第一山: 保国寺, 33-121.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 杨. 1987. 保国寺大殿建筑形制分析与探讨, 46-52.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record; 李. 2009. 營造法式 (1103; 故宫藏抄本), 14.10a.Link to Zotero Bibliographic Record

    Contained in Place

    How to Cite This Entry

    Baoguo Monastery, Mahāvīra Treasure Hall 保國寺大雄寶殿 ” in Architectura Sinica last modified December 16, 2021,


    Baoguo Monastery, Mahāvīra Treasure Hall 保國寺大雄寶殿 .” In Architectura Sinica, edited by CHEN Yue and Tracy Miller. Entry published March 21, 2018.

    About this Entry

    Entry Title: Baoguo Monastery, Mahāvīra Treasure Hall 保國寺大雄寶殿

    Authorial and Editorial Responsibility:

    • CHEN Yue and Tracy Miller, editors, Architectura Sinica

    Additional Credit:

    • Editing, proofreading, data entry and revision by Tracy Miller
    • Adding citations Melanie Lu
    • Adding diacritical marks to Pinyin, adding Wade-Giles by OGIHARA Waka>
    • Data entry Yue Chen

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