Ganlu Temple, Jiuhuashan
(June 24, 2012)

(1) See the car on the far right? Ganlu Temple sits right on the road up the mountain, which wraps around the front and one side. The temple is actually halfway down the mountain from where I'm staying; I was able to get a free bus from the village down and back up again.

(2) An unusual feature: The Four Heavenly Kings were very modern-looking reliefs, instead of the usual towering statues.

(3) The Laughing Buddha, too, was a relief, not a statue.

(4) The door out of the first hall promises adventure. Actually, I shot a couple of dozen "architecture/atmosphere" shots like this; this one will have to do you, though.

(5) I noted the poor grammar on the way in. Later, I met a young monk, Venerable Long Jie, who spoke English and was entirely self-taught. To show you how well he learned, as we walked by he observed that the sign was wrong. When I asked what it should say, he said, "'No smoking' or 'Don't smoke.'" Pretty good, huh?

(6) An ancient-looking carving of Dizang on an outside stair landing.

(7) The view up to the Founder's Hall, behind the main hall.

(8) The Founder in his Hall. When they gild these mummies, they make the facial features rather formless, which kinda creeps me out.

(9) The building behind this little tree is called "The House of Learning Sages." I could hear a discussion going on as I walked by. (This temple is also the Jiuhua Shan Buddhist College.)

(10) Another relief of Dizang on a landing, this one leading up to...

(11) unkempt memorial garden surrounding a statue of the more recent monk Ren De.

(12) Ren De's view over the temple roofs to the valley below. We both stood and enjoyed it for a few minutes.

(13) The retaining wall behind the Founder's Hall (which retains the Ren De memorial garden) has the twelve year generals seen at Ciyun Si in Chongqing (Trip 15). They flank reliefs of the Buddha and two Bodhisattvas.

(14) More reliefs: part of an entire wall of reliefs of "student life" on a platform used by the Buddhist College's students for recreation.

(15) The monks' life: Sweep and Slash, Sweep and Slash.

(16) The sign on this building calls it the "Old Wood Building." And that it is. Ven Long Jie showed me around inside, and told me it was 300 years old. Could be.

(17) Local boys make good: Recent Jiuhua monk Ren De on the left, the widely-renowned Bodhidharma in the center, and an ancient Jiuhua monk named Dong'an, who left "Tiger Cave" to raise funds for the founding of Ganlu Temple (and, when finished, returned to the silence of his cave).

(18) This is a 300-year-old classroom, still in use. The young monk was excited to show it to me, and even wanted to take my picture up front as though I were lecturing! How could I explain that the last place I wanted to be during my summer vacation was in front of a classroom, pretend or not?

(19) As we stood in the Medicine Buddha Hall, Long Jie asked if I heard anything. I said yes, a humming sound. He pointed at the bottom of the door, just an arm's-length from my feet, and said, "Look! A beehive!" He swore the bees had never "hurt" anybody. Nevertheless, I made a beeline outta there (after taking a picture).

(20) Looking from the Old Wood Building to the front of the main hall.

(21) There were several nice pieces in the main hall, and Long Jie knew the English names of all of them. The best thing, though, was that both side walls, and part of the back wall, were covered with these paintings of the 500 Arhats. Though they looked modern to me, he averred they were also "300 years old." (The temple was built in 1667, so who knows?)

* * * * * * * *

This was Temple #99 on my list of 142. Tomorrow I'll leave this mountain and head to Anqing, where I hope to have enough time to hit #100 before the day is through.

    ← Previous Site Back to Trip 16 Introduction Next Site →    

Last Updated August 15, 2019

No comments:

Post a Comment