Doing the temple thing!

Trip Start Sep 30, 2005
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Trip End Jun 04, 2006


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Saturday, April 15, 2006

When in China, it feels as if there are millions of temples. I got bored with them a long time ago, primarily because I don't know enough about the stories, history and beliefs encapsulated within them, nor can I read the painted writings and carvings that adorn all of the temple sites. For a while I'd avoided the temples, but I decided that it was about time I really went and had another careful look at what was there. Fresh eyes 'n all that........

The introduction in wonderful Chinglish on my ticket for NanPutuoShi read:

The South Putuo Temple, which lies in the southeast of the Xiamen Islan, is embraced by the graceful sea and the Wulan Peaks as its back. The Wulan Peaks, rising upon another, enjoys a high reputation for its picturesque Views including deep serene caves and verdant woods. The South Putuo Temple is adjacent in Xiamen Universque and Lujiang River University. Since the last years of Tang Dynasty, there have been monks who inhabited this Place, and changed it into a Buddhist sacred land. It used to have different names. In the first years of Qing Dynasty, the general Shi Liang provided funds to rebuild the temple, where the Bodhisattva Guanyin was mainly Worshipped, The general thought it was on the south of the Mount Putuo of Zhejiang Province, hence gave the Temple its present name, In the year of 1924, ui Quan was appointed the first abbot of the South Putuo. President and other famous masters like Hong Yi and Yin Shun used to teach here. The College, which has so far nurtured innumerable Buddhists, has built a strong fame both home and overseas.

After renovation and reconstruction in 1980s, the temple has changed beyond recognition. It has become a perfect example that embodies natural scenery and cultural heritage, boasting many grotesque rock Formations, old pine trees, pavilions, lotus pond, pagodas and halls, so the South Putuo Temple has attracted many tourists from home and abroad with its splendid signs and Buddhists for pilgrimage.

Today, the South Putuo tEmple incorporated education, charity and service together, and puts up some a thousand Buddhists, who live in harmony and practice Buddhism, and who pray for Well-being and peace for the nation and its people.


Yes! It's all true. It's worth a visit. I can appreciate the tranquillity and beauty of the mountain, and the work and dedication that has gone into creating the art in the temples and the carvings in the rocks. Some of the carved wall murals are stunningly detailed. More than anything though, I'm struck by the aromas of incense, and the tour groups in their group caps. The temple has its serious side, but mostly people are having fun, stopping occasionally to revere the Gods' of their choice. It's noisy, busy, cheerful and doing a roaring trade in icons, food, incense sticks, and consultations with the monks. It's really nice to be here, even though I still don't understand all that much about what's going on.
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