Ancient Dragon Temple
Ancient Dragon Temple, Huanglongxi
At the end of a street we saw the Ancient Dragon Temple, to the right, Fish Alley led to another old square, to the left, another shopping street by the river. To the right of the entrance the information board read: The Ancient Dragon Temple is located on the south of the main street and faces north. The oldest temple in Huanglongxi Old Town, it boasts a 300-year-old Ten-millennium Platform and two 900-year-old banyan trees, Main buildings of the temple include the Maitreya Hall, Grand Buddha Hall, Mother Buddha Hall, and Amitabha Hall. The main hall of the temple consecrates Master Huang Long. In front of it stands a One-thousand-Buddha Iron Pagoda. Buddhism is the Chan sect and Pure Land sect of Mahayana. Legend has it that 1,800 years ago, Master Huang Long came here to salvage the people from the abyss of misery. Now, the two Banyan trees planted by the Master in the courtyard have twisted roots, gnarled branches, and huge canopies. They have grown into an inseparable part of the temple. In fact, the combination of the trees and the temple forms a rare marvel of the world. The Ancient Dragon Temple is known for the organic integration of its three ancient features: ancient temple, ancient stage, and ancient Banyan trees, making it the number one temple in the old town. Well, after reading that it would have been daft not to step in.
In front of us was the main courtyard.
Behind us, the entrance through which we had stepped from the main street, above it – the stage.
The Ancient Opera House, also named as Ten-thousand-year House, was built at the beginning years of Qing Dynasty, and has a history of over three hundred years. Monasteries, ethnic clubs, and towns built opera houses for worshipping and entertaining. Ten-thousand-year House in Yellow Dragon Creek is an all-wooden structure and is nearly kept intact, of which sort is hard to find in whole province.
Bear went to pose beside the first of the banyan trees and while I was reading the information – out came the trigger finger. Perhaps my favourite information board in China so far, I did type it out but somehow the way we saw it seemed more appropriate.
The Yamun of Three Counties was commonly called Zong-fu Yamum, and built in the Qing Dynasty. It was established for three counties of Huayang, Renshou and Pengshan to build Ancient Buddhist Weir as administrative agency. During the period of the Republic of China, it started to manage civil affairs, irrigation works and banditry of the three counties so the people prefer to calling “Yamun of Three Counties”. Nowadays, it is the only well preserved Yamun of Three Counties. In 2007, it was listed as the Sichuan provincial-level key cultural relic. (Yes, I was confused copying Yamum and Yamun in the same sentence). Time to bimble.
We thoroughly enjoyed the temple and then followed a tiny path to the back of the main building.
Along the back wall and round the corner to the left were fifty-eight of Buddha’s ‘apostles’.
Every single one was unique.
Passed the protectors and the pretty living quarters.
Back to the courtyard and it was time for a cup of tea by the river............
ALL IN ALL A REAL TREASURE
A PRETTY BACK-STREET OASIS OF CALM