Monday, January 5, 2009

Guyuan Si Temple, Wuhan

After that sumptious Wuhan lunch, we were free to explore more of the city. We decided to visit the famous Guiyuan Si or Guiyuan Buddhist Temple. This is one of the most important temples in China. The founder of this temple was the monk Bai Guang and the land was donated by a well-known Mandarin...during the mid 17th Century.
The buildings within the grounds date from the late Qing Dynasty to the beginning early Republican era ( 1911-1949 ).

Photo: D2 and Julie right outside the entrance. Look closely and you see a blue signboard with gold letters written vertically ( that is top to down ). This is something very rarely seen at temples or other buildings unless they are owned by the emperor.
Only an emperor can write vertically or place a sign such as this in a vertical China.
The rest can only write horizontally!
Believe it or not.
Better believe's a fact.

Within this temple can be found 500 gold-painted arhats or luohans ( enlightened disciples ) each with it's own facial looks and posture. Each has a name for that luohan and also a number for identification.

What a surprise we got when we went inside the temple. Thw whole place was surging with a massive crowd. This cannot be an Olympic Torch event...I thought to myself. Sure enough, there were monks and nuns fully dressed in their religious robes carrying all sorts of lanterns, drums, banners and regalia. There was a ritual or ceremony of sorts going on.
We found out soon enough. It was for a very Good Cause. That day was organised as a special Prayer and Devotion Day for all the victims of the recent Sichuan Earthquake. Donations collected will be for that cause.

So mingling with so many devotees and ordinary people of Wuhan who turned up in support, we too became that cause.

There were serious looking and sad faces all around reflecting the great sympathies the crowd had for the unfortunate victims.
I captured Mr Fu who himself was trying to snap a photo. D2 was right in front of him.

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