Baotong Temple, Wuhan, Hubei
(August 4, 2012)

(1) From right in front of my hotel, I hopped on bus 401 and was at Baotong Temple in less than a half-hour. Not as famous (or as busy on this Saturday) as Guiyuan, it was in most ways far more interesting.

First was the colors! Most of the buildings, right up to the pagoda at the top, used an unusual palette.

(2) The ponds at the foot of the temple both contained these two-faced Guanyins. That's four faces, if you're counting. Around the statue are figures related to one's birth year.

(3) On the approach to the second hall, this baby Buddha is surrounded by nine dragons. Close inspection showed that each had a nozzle under it; I would have loved to have seen them in action.

(4) Look at all the colors on the "Jade Buddha Hall." The dump truck there is a token of the massive construction going on at this temple.

(5) The front of the Guanyin Hall on the next level.

(6) The Guanyin in that hall. Spectacular.

(7) A couple of levels up, on the way to the pagoda, were these dilapidated pavilions. Still with the colors.

(8) Above those pavilions was an "Island Arhat" Hall, with the 500 arhats arranged in tableaux. Unfortunately, someone decided to "protect" them with a cheap plastic enclosure that makes them nearly impossible to see.

(9) A hint at what we're missing: some of the "Island Arhats" shot close-up.

(10) Here's an odd thing: The pagoda above the temple dates to the Yuan Dynasty, but the temple was built in the later Ming. So the pagoda preceded the temple.

(11) Every side of the pagoda had these stubs, indicating there were statues of guardians or lions around the pagoda that got knocked off somehow.

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As I made my way back down to the front of the temple, most halls were already closed for the night. Just made it!

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Last Updated August 20, 2019

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