Luohan Temple, Chongqing
(June 14, 2012)

(1) Luohan Temple in Chongqing, as you can see, is squeezed in on a side street, surrounded by city.

(2) But just inside is a peaceful courtyard, where I had my picture taken with a bunch of students, and a sweet old man:

I shot nearly 400 pictures that day, but the only one I had time to post was one I didn't shoot. Two college-age girls at the temple asked if I would take a picture with their grandma (by which they meant "grandpa"). Here we are. Believe it or not, this wizened old guy is only 71! (Reminds me of how great my parents look.) After the pic, Grandpa got what he really wanted: he rubbed my belly for luck!

(3) Here are the college kids that had bravely petitioned for Gramps. I guess they really wanted a shot, too (but no belly rubs).

(4) Just past that courtyard, there's a strange sort of entryway. On either side are fake "grottoes" depicting Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, etc.

(5) This fellow seems to have survived the vicissitudes of time. He's creepy though.

(6) These figures clearly "lost their heads" in the Cultural Revolution. They weren't the only ones.

(7) The main hall at Luohan Temple, is quite impressive, despite the squeezed nature of the place.

(8) This mural is in a low-ceilinged, elegant room under the main hall. It depicts the "Three Sages of the West," the theme of the entire hall.

(9) This bas relief is behind the main altar in the room under the main hall at the temple.

(10) The courtyard between the main hall and the Dharma Hall behind it is quite small.

(11) The arhats in this hall reminded me of something interesting: Although picturing the 500 Arhats seems to be a "Chinese thing," I'm always impressed with the multi-ethnicity of the depictions, whether ancient or (like these) very modern. (When I visited here briefly in 2007, this hall was closed as the arhats were being replaced.)

(12) Hey, Shenzhen friends, does this (slightly blurry) guy remind you of anyone we know? They say if you walk through an Arhats' Hall and look carefully, you'll find at least one familiar face.

(13) Although this is merely the entryway to a shop selling high-priced statues, I thought it was beautiful.

(14) This plaque is in the floor of the first hall of the temple. I confirmed with the attendant that the carving is very old, though the hall it's in is not. On my way out, I walked around the plaque in deference.

(15) OK, imagine this: draw a V, and put the two Chongqing temples I wanted to visit at the top of each "leg." (A river runs down the middle.) I chose my hotel at the bottom of the V, so I could reach each temple easily. It was a terrible hotel, but location is everything, right?

Well, as I left the first temple, I discovered there was a cable car that, for less than a dollar, would take me across the top of the V in a few minutes! I had stayed in that hellhole for nothing. Here's the rickety car approaching, and some game guys waving from it.

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Last Updated August 13, 2019

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