Introduction to My Facebook Albums

In the posts below, you will see all the pilgrimage photos I posted to my Facebook account, starting with Trip 10 in August of 2011 and running through Trip 19, the last one (so far), about a year later. I have also copied the more pertinent comments made on the various albums and individual photos.

You can read a little more about this on the Guide Page for this blog.

Trip 10: Dongbei, Hebei, and Qingdao (August 24-31, 2011)

Ci'en Temple, Shenyang, Liaoning

Trip 10 is the first trip for which I made a "You Are There" photo album, posting from my hotel rooms along the way. This trip started in the far northeastern city of Harbin, the capital of Heilongjiang Province, and its southernmost point was Shijiazhuang, the capital of Hebei Province, passing through Beijing, the national capital, on the way. It was a capital experience!

Jile Temple, Haerbin, Heilongjiang
(August 25, 2011)

(1) Jile Si, the "Temple of Bliss," was the only temple I needed to see in Harbin (or Haerbin). Here it is in the morning light; the "dim view" below was the night before.

Dizang Temple, Changchun, Jilin
(August 25, 2011)

(1) On to Changchun. One of the temples on my list, Dizang Si (The Temple of Kshitigarbha Bodhisattva), was quite small to begin with--just two halls. And then, it was closed for a major overhaul. See the blue-tarped area of the sidewalk? That's where the gate used to be. Something of a disappointment. (I entered by the side gate.) But someone kindly let me in for a few shots.

Banruo Temple, Changchun, Jilin
(August 25, 2011)

(1) You could say that Guanyin (the Bodhisattva of Compassion) is BIG in the northeast. All three of the functioning temples I've been to so far have had colossal images of her/him. This one is at Banruo Si in Changchun, Jilin.

Guanyin Gucha, Jilin, Jilin
(August 26, 2011)

(1) On to Guanyin Gucha in Jilin City, Jilin. This imposing gateway is misleading: behind it is a very small compound. The name of this place is quite interesting, by the way. Most Buddhist temples are named "si" (寺), from an old word for government offices (where the earliest monks from India were first housed). Others may be called "an" (庵), originally a hut but now used to mean "nunnery," or sometimes "yuan" (院), a courtyard or enclosure. But this one uses a really old word, "cha" (刹), from "cha duo luo" (剎多羅) a transliteration of the Sanskrit word "kshetra," meaning "a field." Cool, huh? (At least for Buddhist language geeks.) PS The "gu" (古) in the name means "old."

Banruo Temple, Shenyang, Liaoning
(August 27, 2011)

(1) After all night on the train [to Chengde, Hebei], I'm finally ready to show you yesterday's three temples, rather a mixed bag. To be honest, there was nothing exceptional at Banruo Temple in Shenyang. Here's a shot of their pleasant but unexceptional main hall.

Ci'en Temple, Shenyang, Liaoning
(August 27, 2011)

(1) Moving on, to the larger Ci'en Temple in Shenyang. At first I thought the Heavenly Kings Hall had been given over to rubbish collection. Then I saw someone bringing more donations, of food, clothing, bedding, etc. That made me happy.

Dafo Temple, Shenyang, Liaoning
(August 27, 2011)

(1) And now for a sad little place: Dafo Temple in Shenyang is not one of my 142, but it's just around the corner, so I had a look. "Dafo" means "Big (or Great) Buddha," and I was hoping to see one. Nope. Just a torn-up entry area and a bunch of mediocre statues.

Puning Temple, Chengde, Hebei
(August 28, 2011)

(1) This is the front of the Puning Hotel, attached to Puning Temple, Chengde. I really hated to leave.

Puyou Temple, Chengde, Hebei
(August 28, 2011)

(1) Next to Puning Temple in Chengde is Puyou Temple. (Entrance is actually through Puning, but I will present it as if entered from the front.) This is the "Mountain Gate."

Guangyuan Temple, Chengde, Hebei
(August 28, 2011)

(1) Farther along, past the gate of Puyou Temple, is the parking lot for a new cemetery being built. And past that are the crumbling remains of Guangyuan Temple. I know nothing about it except man!, was it evocative. Here's the sealed up main gate (there's a door into the compound elsewhere).

A Walk in Chengde, Hebei
(August 29, 2011)

(1) This morning I took a walk west of Puning Temple in Chengde, taking me past Shuxiang Temple, Putuozongcheng Temple, Xumifushou Temple, and then--closer to downtown Chengde--Yongyou Temple's pagoda.

First, a taxi to the far end, and the ruins of Luohan Temple. Ruins indeed: There's virtually nothing to see except a couple of old trees out front, and these retaining walls. I didn't dare go closer, as there's a military installation next door, and I didn't want to get shot--or worse, have my camera confiscated.

Linji Temple, Zhengding, Hebei
(August 30, 2011)

(1) Today's temples, in Zhengding, were basically just four pagodas, each located in its own enclosure. The pagodas were splendid, but the atmosphere was terrible--white and hot. Some shots were fogged even at just 10-15 meters away. Anyway, the most important pagoda, and the actual goal of trip to Zhengding, is Chengling (or Linji) Pagoda, and a "real temple," called Linji Temple, has been built around it.

Guanghui Temple, Zhengding, Hebei
(August 30, 2011)

(1) Very near Linji Temple in Zhengding is the so-called "Hua Pagoda" in Guanghui Temple. Here it is as seen across the cornfield that separates the two temples.