Bamboo Garden Lodge is located next to Pilgrims Lodge. This place was initially a thick, wild, jungle covered mountain overgrown with bamboo named Mazhu Yuan Zai. Ma Zhu is to commemorate the origin name before founding Fo Guang Shan. Afterwards, Master Venerable Hsing Yun wanted to build a multipurpose building in order to organize devotee seminars to educate devotee supporters. Construction began in late 1983 on the site, which was a bottomless ravine. However, after over 5000 truck loads of sand and gravel for landfill, it opened for use in February 1985. Bamboo Garden Lodge, is therefore also named as “ Devotees Seminar”.
It is divided into two parts:
1. The building covers 8,300 square meters and is five floors in height. The first floor holds the Jetavana Meeting Hall, guest rooms, reception area, and a Dining Hall that can hold 1,000 people. The second to fifth floors are accommodation suites for devotees, including Western and Japanese style suites, the Dynasty suite, as well as the Double Bliss and Three Harmonies Meeting Rooms. Each guest suite is for 2 to 8 persons, 140 rooms in all.
2. The Bamboo Garden Lodge’s most important function is to provide education and classes for devotees, as well as receiving guests to Fo Guang Shan, providing them with comfortable and relaxing accommodation facilities. Even until today, the “Devotees Seminar” sign still remains above the door.
On the fifth floor, the Dharma Wheel Conference Room is a large hall of international standards, with a capacity of 160 people. The 1985 International Buddhist Youth Conference, the 1986 Esoteric & Exoteric Buddhism Forum, the 1995 International Catholic Buddhist Exchange Convention, and the 2003 Northern & Southern Buddhist Discussion Forum, were all held in the Dharma Wheel Conference Room.