Buddhism was introduced into China since the Han Dynasty from more than 2000 years ago. During the period from Sui & Tang Dynasty, Buddhism developed and expanded largely in China, including Sichuan Province. Unlike other places, the Zen Buddhism was overwhelming among all the schools of Buddhism in Sichuan. In the Tang dynasty, there were some eminent monks made great contribution to Chinese Buddhism, including Zhi Xi, Dao Yi and so on. The famous Buddhism master Xuan Zang went to Sichuan to learn Buddhism scripture and was initiated into monkhood in Chengdu. In addition, some emperors personally favored temples in Sichuan. Consequently, there were couple of Buddhism temples and monasteries of royal supports. For Example, the Emperor Xuan Zong in Tang dynasty built Daci Temple in Chengdu when he fled to Sichuan. Another flourishing period of Buddhism in Sichuan was duirng the Ming and the Qing Dynasty, which was outstanding compared with stagnant Buddhism in other parts of China. In the Qing dynasty, the number of the Buddhism temple and monastery were over 10, 000.
As the Buddhism flourishes in Sichuan, a lot of Buddhism sites developed, such as Mt. Emei, one of the most sacred Buddhism Mountains in China; Leshan Giant Buddha, the biggest sitting stone Buddha on cliff in the world. Leshan Giant Buddha and Mt. Emei are protected as World Cultural and Natural Dual Heritages by the UNESCO. Besides the Han Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism in Sichuan also plays a significant role as Sichuan is the second largest Tibetan inhabited area in China. The biggest Tibetan Buddhism College in China, Setar Wuming Buddha College, is located in Northwest Sichuan. Litang Monastery, also called Ganden Thubchen Choekhorling Monastery, is the oldest and biggest Tibetan Monastery of Gelug in Kham area. The Buddhism’s development and expansion in Sichuan caused significant influence on the culture, economy and even on politics. With profound culture background and solid mass foundation, Sichuan attracts Buddhists over the world.