Nengren Temple, Jiujiang, Jiangxi
(August 8, 2012)

(1) Another colorful gate, this one at Nengren Temple in Jiujiang.

This was a rare find: a city temple that was uncrowded, and unrefurbished. There is an interesting account of this temple written by Carl F. Kupfer, a Christian missionary 100 years ago. I used it as a guide to what to see, and will refer to it in my captions. You can read it here (but beware of weird spellings!)

(2) After walking a long, bushy path, I arrived at this dirty Mountain Gate.

(3) The pond in front of the Heavenly Kings' Hall is overgrown, even though it sports a famous bridge.

(4) The main hall looks like a barn.

(5) The hole in this stone is said to have been formed by rain drops. It's a symbol of the benefits of persistence. (I spent a few minutes persistently fishing out candy wrappers that some barbarian had stuffed in there.)

(6) See the basket over the doorway? Read on...

(7) It's covering a beehive. One thing's for sure: monks and nuns love food, especially sweets. This is the second beehive I've seen in a temple this year. Wonder where the honey goes?

(8) This boat is part of a sort of founding myth of the temple (which you can read in Carl Kupfer's chapter cited above); it involves a stone boat floating down the river in fulfillment of a prophecy. The statue in it has an interesting history: It was originally an iron Buddha, made as a result of the story of the boat. During the Taiping Rebellion, the Iron Buddha was lost. It was later found again, only to be destroyed in the Cultural Revolution. What we see today is a concrete replica.

(9) This pagoda is somewhat unusual, having six sides instead of eight. Kupfer tells a long story about why it was built, in connection with the Imperial Exams.

(10) A new granite staircase leads up to the pagoda's second-floor door (another unusual feature).

(11) Behind the pagoda is this "ancestor hall." I asked the monk inside what the ancestor's name was, and he didn't know. I suspect it's the unknown Tibetan monk who came down the Yangtze in the stone boat!

    ← Previous Site Back to Trip 18 Introduction Next Site →    

Last Updated August 20, 2019

No comments:

Post a Comment