What do you call those temple bells...?

No, not a joke–just a (heraldic) blazoning condundrum.

You know those big bells that temples often have, alongside drums? Probably bronze, and not flared like church bells? Maybe with the Heart Sutra or something cast onto the side…?

What is the technical name for those bells? I can’t just call them “temple bells” because, for instance, this wouldn’t distinguish them from those handbells that the Tibetan Buddhists use (along with dorjes/varjas or a hand-held rattling drum). Also, I’ve seen the big bells in other places too (like universities).

Thanks, and if anybody else is into heraldry, let me know!

Drawing a blank here… (don’t spend much time in temples).

Can you find a pic?

The drums are sometimes called “dharma drums”, so perhaps these are “dharma bells”? Just a guess.

iron bell
Tam Kung Temple

Mo Tai Temple


I’ve been doing the Google and it seems, in the English anyway, they just say bell.

I googled, too (and that includes extra-crazy googling) and I couldn’t find anything.

Here are some comments in Chinese on the subject, but I can’t make sense of them using Babelfish or Google Translation:

Thanks for your efforts, guys. I found some English sites that used “zhong” as a loan-word meaning, I guess, “Chinese bell” (of a certain type).

No pictures, unfortunately–I don’t have one of those cameras. I’ll probably just blazon “bell” and let the artist pick what kind–that way different artists can do different styles.

!لا شكر على واجب يا صديقي ، وعدو اللصوص (No thanks for duty, O my friend, and enemy of thieves!)

Gongs? Or are those the flat thing you hit with a stick? Maybe they’re just called “Bells”.

You can all sing along to the sound of the gong.