Buddhism was introduced to Shanxi province as early as the Eastern Han Dynasty (AD25-220) and became quite popular in the Southern and Northern Dynasties (AD420-581). The Yungang Grottoes are an especially good example of Buddhism relics that came to the province.
Buddhism in Shanxi had a prosperous period during the Tang Dynasty (AD618-907), when rulers supported it in the Wutai Mountains.
During the dynasties of Song (960-1279), Liao (916-1125), and Jin(1115-1234), they continued to support its development and the growth of temples such the Huayan and Chongqing temples and Yingxian County Wooden Pagoda. During the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368), Buddhism was honored and the Wutai Mountains became one of the country’s four most famous Buddhist sites.
During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the rulers renovated the Great Xiantong Temple and stupas on the Wutai Mountains, and added other temples. The Xiaoxitian (minor western paradise), or Thousand Buddha Temple, in Xixian county, Shanxi province, was built in 1634 during the Chongzhen reign period of the Ming and is a masterpiece of painted sculpture.
During the Qing Dynasty, Shanxi became a popular site of Lamaism.