What comes to mind when you think of Bronkhorstspruit? The Dam, farms, mining, you probably thought about all of those, Buddhist Temple however didn’t cross your mind, not even close.The Nan Hua Temple is a Buddhist Temple in what some might deem the middle of nowhere, in South Africa of all places…which makes it that much more interesting.
As with all temples there is a sense of peace that immediately envelops you as you enter the gates of the temple, you can even feel the air change as you start the drive towards the massive structure. It’s quite surprising to see a temple that looks like it’s been cut out of a Chinese postcard sitting on the backdrop of the South African bushveldt.
The temple is about 50km east of Pretoria and 70km from Johannesburg making it not too far and not too close for the perfect day trip.
A local once told me that the temple was built to cater for a number of Buddhist miners in the area through and agreement with the Chinese and South African governments, I’m not sure if this is based on fact but I do know that the land was donated by the local city council to the Fo Guang Shan Buddhist Order to be developed into a Chinese Buddhist, Cultural, and Educational Complex. The Buddhist community in and around the temple includes a few monks, nuns, staff and lay people, both Chinese and non-Chinese. When you visit the temple it’s important to remember that although it is an attraction for you, it’s a place of worship for many. You can’t talk or take pictures in many of the temples and in all of them you need to remove your shoes to enter.
If you’re interested, the temple also offers meditation retreats, I’ve been wanting to do one forever and I will definitely share my experience when I get around to it. These meditation retreats are great for relieving stress, anxiety and depression, raise your hand if that sounds amazing. For the time table click here. Here’s just a photo of Craig and myself. Craig get’s really annoyed with me for taking so many photos but I still think one day he will be grateful when we have reminders of our younger years.