First built in the first year of the Hongdao Reign Period, Guoen Temple has a long history and was the hometown of Huineng, the Sixth Ancestor of Chan and the place where he died. Guoen Temple, Guangxiao Temple in Guangzhou and Nanhua Temple in Shaoguan are collectively known as the three major ancestral temples of Chinese Zen. Eminent Japanese monks even called it "the earliest ancestral temple." The temple was built beside mountains, and many of its features remain as they were in the Tang Dynasty. The architectural style south of the Five Ridges was added through considerate planning. With quiet and beautiful surroundings, the temple has seen countless worshipers for thousands of years and is the best destination for pilgrimage.