Hanshan Temple is located in Maple Bridge town in the western outskirts of Suzhou, one km west of the Garden for Quiet Reflection. It was first built in the Tianjian period of the Liang dynasty (502-557) with the name of Miaolita Yuan (Miaolita Temple). During the Tang dynasty (618-907), a famous monk was said to have been in charge of the temple and the temple was thereafter named after him.
The temple used to be one of the ten most famous temples in China. The poem of "A Night Mooring by Maple Bridge" by Zhang Ji, a famous poet of the Tang dynasty, is a very well known and loved poem, its poetic rhyme and bell-tolling sounds have made the Hanshan Temple celebrated at home and abroad.
Moon sets, crows cry and frost fills all the sky;
By maples and boat lights, I sleepless lie.
Outside Suzhou, Hanshan Temple is in sight;
Its ringing bells reach my boat at midnight.