Qiyun Tayuan, Luoyang, Henan
(November 1, 2011)

(1) Still inside the same walls of the Baima Temple (to enter which we paid 50rmb), we walked eastward and approached the enclosure for the Qiyun ("Scraping the Clouds") Pagoda. This horse is set up for people to have their picture taken--for a price. (That's no way to treat sacred statuary!) His companion on the other side of the walkway was not similarly molested.

(2) Past the horses, you climb stairs and cross a pedestrian bridge over a street, which brings you down into the grounds. I shot this Buddha hall from the bridge. Although they're covered by the same fee, I considered the Pagoda area to be a separate temple from Baima simply because they each have a Da Xiong (Bao) Dian, a main Buddha hall.

(3) The main altar inside the Buddha hall. Another funny story: Three old ladies were sitting near the door. We smiled and greeted each other, but as I went to get this shot one of them jumped up and said "No, no!" The first camera scold all day. So I turned the camera toward her and said, "How about you?" She giggled and waved her hand "no." I asked about the other two ladies: no, no. But they were all laughing, so the tension of having to confront me about the photo was dissipated.

(4) The grounds where the pagoda is located are really beautiful; here's one of several shots I took.

(5) AT last, here's the pagoda, built in 1165. But previously on the same site, there was another, a wooden one that burned 50 years before. That one was supposed to have been built in 64 CE, making it "the first pagoda in China." (Maybe.) On that site, there had been an earthen mound (legend says) that, no matter how many times it was leveled, kept springing back up, about a meter high. What's more, bright light shone out of its top. When the two monks from India arrived, they determined that the mound held one of the relics of the Buddha that King Ashoka of India had sent out a few hundred years earlier. Nineteen of these had reached Eastern China, and the local king was so happy he had one that he ordered a pagoda built on the spot.

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Last Updated August 9, 2019

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