Tiantai Temple, Jiuhuashan
(June 21, 2012)

(1) From the top of the cable car (and Gu Baijing Tai) it's still a tough climb to Tiantai Si, which is one of the temples on my list. These litter-bearers were carrying an old lady who (along with her daughters) became a temporary "friend." More on them later.

(2) Along with fruit and bottled water, vendors on the path were selling these mountain salamanders for people to release (a means of improving one's karma). The bottles contain two each; I didn't get the price.

(3) On the trail between Gu Baijing Tai and Tiantai Si, the rock on the left is pointed out by signs. It's supposed to look like an eagle looking up at the place where Dizang meditated, and listening to him teach the scripture. OK, I'll buy it.

(4) Looking back on the last, long climb to Tiantai Si.

(5) The main hall at Tiantai Si was under repair.

(6) This workman was painting in the carved characters on a column in front of the main hall at Tiantai Si.

(7) Here are two views of decorations on the outside of the main hall. The top picture shows the old paint; the bottom, post-refurbishment. I don't know, maybe it's because of my years in Japan, but I prefer the old, worn appearance to the glossy paint.

(8) There's a Guanyin Hall behind the main hall at Tiantai Si; inside, this beautiful "jade" (probably plastic) relief of Dizang is just shoved into a corner. Too bad it wouldn't fit in my bag.

(9) Looking down from the back window of the Guanyin Hall, I saw this lady stepping out of the small hall that faces the "Old Dizang Cave." Earlier, I had met her and her sister and mother (the old lady in the litter) at a kiosk, where she kindly bought me a Red Bull (my first, and probably last, ever--but it was deeply appreciated at the moment). They're from Quanzhou, Fujian, where I've been to see a temple, but now live in Buji, another part of Shenzhen (where I live). The last time we parted I said, "See you in Shenzhen." They loved it!

(10) This is the "Old Dizang Cave." Note its location...

(11) It's under the building which houses the main hall on the top floor (the white level in this picture). I've often noticed that temples and churches are located on or near a natural feature; could this very small cave have been the start of it all? (Well, that and the nearby peak.)

(12) There was something creepy about these Buddhas perched in the rafters of a side hall. I got a girl to translate for me, and asked the monk what they were for. There are plans for making a "10,000 Buddha Hall" (but where? Maybe just the interior of the current main hall?), and these guys (I've only shown a quarter of them) are awaiting the day when they line the walls of the new hall.

(13) This doorway leads out of the "crypts" under the main hall; delightfully dilapidated.

(14) From one vantage point at Tiantai Si, you can look back down at Gu Baijing Tai.

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Last Updated August 14, 2019

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