China to expand oldest Buddhist temple

IANS, Jan 4, 2012

Beijing, China -- China's oldest Buddhist temple, built 1,943 years ago, is to be renovated.

Baima Temple, or the White Horse Temple, will be expanded into a cultural park of 87 hectares in eight years, the religious affairs authorities said.

According to the People's Daily, the temple, located in Luoyang city, was the first Buddhist shrine in China and is considered "the cradle of Chinese Buddhism" by most believers.

The expanded complex will include an area for 10 exotic shrines that will come from foreign countries, the official said.

An Indian shrine and a Thai shrine have already risen in the courtyard.

Construction is expected to start in April.