Temple experiences

Sightseeing in China often involves temples. And temples. And temples. You can easily reach a point where everyone feels the same. I though I’d hit this point. Until I went to Zhejiang and experienced 3 fascinating, and totally different temples.

In Hangzhou we visited 灵隐寺 língyǐnsì. The temple was in a forest, with lots of stone carvings. This provided an amazing backdrop. The temple itself was beautiful, but nothing new. It was a small temple tucked to the side that caught my eye.

The smaller temple was in the shape of the Buddhism swastika. Each brach of the was lined with massive bronze statues of what I can only describe as ‘brothers’. That’s all I could work out from the chinese. Being a temple, I don’t have any pictures from inside, but here are some etchings of the ‘brothers’ that were on the outside of the temple.

Everyone of them was unique. They had different facial features. They had different props. They had different emotions. Why did I enjoy this temple so much? It was quiet and peaceful inside as I guess most people were in the main temple. Because of the shape of the Buddhist swastika, it was rare to see anyone at all! As you drift around the corners, these ominous figures are looking down on you, and their presence is quite calming.

I’d love to here from you if you know who/what these figures represent. Drop a comment below – I really want to know more about them!

Just outside of Jǐngnìng, there’s a small She (pronounced ‘sher’) village, called Dàjūn, set up for tourists. The outside looks very contrived and false, but if you explore inside you just might walk up a small staircase which leads past some tiny little temples used by the original village. As you walk up the staircase, you meet door after door, and each one has a tiny little altar inside.

The names of all the people who donated money to help fix up the temple, and how much they donated.

The highlight of 绍兴 Shàoxīng was 吼山 Houshan park. This park was downright eerie. There were big rocks. There were low clouds. There were menacing surfaces. There were barking dogs. And not a person to be seen.

Inside this park I experienced my favourite temple of all time. There was nothing special in particular about the temple, but the atmosphere was amazing. Outside the temple it was seriously LOUD. There were cicadas everywhere. One step inside the temple and it was silent. Except for one tiny little illuminated radio, turning circles, and playing Buddhist songs. The temple was lit by oil lamps, candles and lotus-shaped lights. It was total peace.