Black Dragon Pool

On September 5, 2011, in Kunming, Nature Scenery, Waterfalls & Pools, Yunnan, by Jack Li

Black Dragon Pool is at the foot of Five Old Men Peak of Longquan Mountain in the northern countryside of Kunming City. According to the Book of Former Han·Gnas-yig, there was Black Water Temple in the northwest of Dian Lake County, Yizhou County, which means the Black Water Temple in Han Dynasty is today’s Black Dragon Pool Taoist Temple. It is the first place of historic interest and scenic beauty in Yunnan Province. The water in the pool will never dry up for the dragon palace of Yuannan Black Dragon King is here, so it is named “Black Dragon Pool”.

Since Tang and Song dynasty, people in Kunming had been coming to Black Dragon Pool to pray for rain. At the beginning of Ming Dynasty, the lord of Qian Kingdom, Mu went for large-scale construction here and changed Dragon Temple into Black Dragon Palace, so the whole Dragon Spring Palace began to take shape. Later during Ming and Qing dynasty, Yunnan officer continuingly built and consummated Dragon Spring Palace. During the Republic of China (1912-1949), this place was once called Dragon Spring Park. Black Dragon Pool is honored as the “first ancient temple in Middle Yunnan Province.” At the same time, it is well-known for its “four unique treasures”, which are Tang winter sweet, Song cypress, Ming Tea and Ming Tomb.

Nowadays, the building of Black Dragon Pool is separated into two Taoist temples. The lower temple “Black Dragon Palace”, built in 1454, is a building with two yards. There is a censer in the outer court, with images of The Eight Diagrams carved on the both sides and the Plough on the side faces. There images are used by Taoism to counteract evil force. In the pool of the inner court, there is a vivid statue of Black Dragon playing with water. It is said that it is the Du Dragon King who is in charge of the cloud and rain of Yunnan. You can also see the black and yellow dragon twisting on the cylinder in the Dragon Temple and other Gods consecrated on the altar like Dragon King, Thunder and Lightening and Rain and Wind who are in charge of rain.

At the end of 2003, during the reconstruction of Black Dragon Pool Park, a pair of couplet written by Lin Zexu was hung on the pillars of Black Dragon Palace. The contents of the couplet suit the worship and atmosphere perfectly, which adds historical and cultural connotation to the park. In front of the Black Dragon Palace, there is the water mentioned in the “two trees of winter sweets and a pool of water. The two pools of water connect with each other and take the stone bridge as the boundary. On the left side, there is Muddy Water Pool, which is half a meter deep and with an area of 2600 square meters. On the right side, there is Clean Water Pool. The average depth of this pool is 7 meters while the deepest part is 11 meters. It accounts for 600 square meters and 4400 cubic meters water retention capacity. The water in the two connected pools is quite distinct from each other, forming the Pattern of Taiji of Taoism, because Clean Water Pool is deep and clean while the Muddy Water Pool is shallow and muddy. Now there are many kinds of winter sweets on the back mountain in the park. In all there are almost 90 kinds and over 6000 trees, so it is named “Dragon Pool Visiting Titoni”, which is one of the famous new sixteen sites of Kunming. Black Dragon Pool Titoni Garden is the biggest Titoni garden in China, which accounts for 427 mu (1mu=0.0667 hectares).

Jack Li

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