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Chi Lin Nunnery

Name of a Buddhist temple complex run by nuns and located on Diamond Hill, in Kowloon, Hong Kong. Though initially founded in 1934, the present-day buildings date from 1990 and are built in the traditional Chinese style of the Tang Dynasty, recognizable by its typical roofs. The inner courtyard of the Chi Lin Nunnery, with its Lotus Pond and Lotus Pond Garden, gives direct access to most of the other places of interest within this temple complex, including the main Maitreya Hall and the lesser Kuan Yin Hall and Pharmacist Hall. The terraces around the halls have large pots with ornamental Slender Lady Palms in them, a species of palm native to Southern China (fig.). Part of the larger complex is Nan Lian Garden, a 35,000 square metre Chinese Classical Garden with a bonsai gallery and Chinese rockery, and its Pavilion of Absolute Perfection, a pagoda-style edifice situated on a small islet in a pond. The Nan Lian landscape garden also incorporates Chi Lin Net Garden and a museum housed in a pavilion named (香海), i.e. Sea of Incense Sticks, whilst adjacent to Nan Lian is Hammer Hill Park, which at least in name is reminiscent of Sledgehammer Peak (fig.), a large rock formation in Chengde, in China's Hebei Province. In addition to all this, there are also a number of social services, such as a home for the elderly with its own dentistry, a Buddhist secondary school, a vegetarian restaurant, and a social services department. Chi Lin (志蓮) is a Cantonese name which in Mandarin is pronounced Zhi Lian and that translates as Aspiration of the Lotus. See also TRAVEL PICTURES (1) and (2).