Jinci temple

On July 25, 2012, in Must-sees, Parks & Gardens, Shanxi, Temples, by Jack Li

If you travel to China and you want to see a place that has a lot of history but is not typical for foreigners why don’t you take a train to Taiyuan and go to one of the most astonishing temples of the Shanxi region, and the whole country that has more than 3000 years […]

If you travel to China and you want to see a place that has a lot of history but is not typical for foreigners why don’t you take a train to Taiyuan and go to one of the most astonishing temples of the Shanxi region, and the whole country that has more than 3000 years of history and is one of the most beautiful places you can find in your China Travel?

What is called “The Jinci Temple” is a combination of buildings from different ages and a natural landscape that frames the buildings in a perfect environment and has a relaxing atmosphere ideal for those who seek the tranquility of an ancient place.

It’s better to visit it in the early morning, it opens at seven o’clock, and it’s bigger than it seems so it’s better if you have lots of time to wander in the multiple attractions that  the Jinci temple has to offer.

There are lots of buildings and statues and shrines and temples to see there but these are the must-sees and the things you cannot miss for you will not find them anywhere;

–          The Saint Mother’s hall; the oldest building in the complex, it’s one of the most important places of the ancient China, so make sure not to miss it.

–          The Flying Bridge across the Fish Pond: it was the first bridge built in that fashion in China and now is the only one that remains intact, its peculiarity is that it’s literally flying over the water; it has no columns in the middle.

–          The Figures of Maidservants: in the Mother Hall there are some very ancient clay statues that are worth seeing.



–          The Ancient Cypresses; these are three cypresses that represent a family, the “parents” are two trees of more than 3000 years old and the “son” is more than 1700 years old.-          The tablets of The Writing of the Emperors; hundreds of stones tables that hold the words and laws of some of the Chinese Emperors.-          The museums of paintings and Calligraphy that have taken some of the ancient residential buildings.-          The Four Bronze statues that represent warriors famous in their time.

These are just some of the things you can see in the Jinci Temple, the attractions that are unique, but there are also other important things like the Boat Shaped Hall with the statue of a monk that is supposed to bring you luck in your studies, the well that has always bubbling water thanks to the underground currents, the pagoda shaped building and the temple of the Dragons, on a rock that you can go through trough a cave.

The Jinci Temple is one of the most important temples of ancient China so if you have the opportunity to make a detour in your China travel and you can spare a day in the Shanxi region make sure that you include the Jinci Temple, it’ll be a decision that you will not regret!

 

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Water Mirror (ShuiJing) Stage

On September 6, 2011, in Historical Relics, Popular Provinces, Shanxi, by Jack Li

The Water Mirror Stage covers a big area and the eastern part of the stage is often used as the background screen in the plays while the western part, faced with the Shengmu Palace, serves as the proscenium. Under the stage eight large earthen jars functioned as loudspeakers. According to Chinese traditions, when people redeem […]

The Water Mirror Stage covers a big area and the eastern part of the stage is often used as the background screen in the plays while the western part, faced with the Shengmu Palace, serves as the proscenium. Under the stage eight large earthen jars functioned as loudspeakers. According to Chinese traditions, when people redeem a vow to a god or offer sacrifices to gods and their ancestors, they usually give various performances to entertain the god as well as themselves. And such a custom lasts for generations. Why? Because ancient common people in China were poor and had to work hard almost every day through the whole year, so they did not have much leisure time. When it came to the ritual ceremony, people all got excited and took this particular opportunity to relax and enjoy themselves. This kind of folk worship ceremony was entertaining and ceremonial at the same time. In the Song and Yuan Dynasty, plays were very popular. In order to meet the needs of the performances of ritual activities, people devided the stage into terrace, pavilion, proscenium and background screen and opened only one side of the stage. Not all people who stood around the stage could enjoy the show, but only those who sat in specific direction could do so. Therefore, stages with fixed watching direction came into being and gradually appeared in various temples or other sacrificial sites.

Jinci Temple

The Buddhist Relics Tower

On September 6, 2011, in Popular Provinces, Shanxi, Temples, Towers, Pagodas & Grottoes, by Jack Li

The Buddhist Relics Tower is located in Futu Court in Fengsheng Temple. The legend holds that after the death of Sakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism, his bone ash formed many shiny beads, which were called Buddhist relics (Shelizi) by his followers. Only one of the beads were buried under the tower, however, when the Qing […]

The Buddhist Relics Tower is located in Futu Court in Fengsheng Temple. The legend holds that after the death of Sakyamuni, the founder of Buddhism, his bone ash formed many shiny beads, which were called Buddhist relics (Shelizi) by his followers. Only one of the beads were buried under the tower, however, when the Qing Emperor Qianlong had the tower rebuilt, surprisingly to all, many Buddhist relics were found. How could one bead become millions of beads? Was it because the living soul of Sakyamuni did this and showed people that Buddhism could last for good? As a result people started to call the tower Buddhist Relics Tower. Built in 589 to 604 BC. (Kaihuang years in Sui Dynasty) and rebuilt in Song Dynasty, the temple was unfortunately destroyed in the beginning years of Qing Dynasty. Shanxiu, a monk in Fengsheng Temple decided to repair this tower, so he began the fund-raising immediately. For some years, he finally got the money needed to accomplish the task in 1751 (the sixteenth year under Qing Emperor Qianlong’s reign). The tower measures 38 m in height with 8 angles and seven floors, and on each floor there are 4 doors and 8 windows. The delicate spiral stairway will lead you to the top of the tower where you can enjoy the most beautiful sight of the tower at dusk when the setting sun is going down. to the east of the tower there is a court called Liushan Garden, in which two pavilions can provide you perfect places for a good rest, one is called Liushan Pavilion, the other is Banyun Pavilion. A folk tale has it that in the year 1558 the Hanging Urn Hill (Xuanweng Shan) moved slowly to the east for more than four hours and stopped just in front of the Lishan Pavilion, and that is how Liushan Pavilion got its name because in Chinese Liushan means to stop the mountain.

Jinci Temple

Everlasting Spring

On September 6, 2011, in Historical Relics, Popular Provinces, Shanxi, Temples, by Jack Li

The source of Jinshui is inside Jinci Temple and there are in all three springs named Yuzhao Spring, Shanli Spring and Everlasting Spring. Sometimes the source of Yuzhao Spring and Shanli Spring is dried up while the Everlasting Spring never runs out of water. The water comes out from the rock 5 m deep down […]

The source of Jinshui is inside Jinci Temple and there are in all three springs named Yuzhao Spring, Shanli Spring and Everlasting Spring. Sometimes the source of Yuzhao Spring and Shanli Spring is dried up while the Everlasting Spring never runs out of water. The water comes out from the rock 5 m deep down the ground with an average flow of 1.8 m3. The temperature of the spring keeps at 17℃ all year round. The name of the spring is from a famous sentence “never grow old” in The Book of Songs.

A folk story tells that once there was a girl called Liu in Jinsheng village 20 km away from Jinci Temple got married with a man in Gutang village, where the temple was located. Her mother-in-law was very mean to her and never let her visit her parental home. She was ordered to carry water to the house from afar. It took her a whole day to carry just two buckets of water, however, the evil mother-in-law only use one bucket and pour out the water in the other bucket so as to torture the poor girl. One day Liu met an old gentleman riding on a horse half way back home, and the man wanted to get some water from her to feed his horse. Without any hesitation, Liu said yes and give the water to the man, but to her surprise, the horse drank the water in both buckets. Then Liu faced an awkward dilemma, it was already at dusk now, so there was not enough time to carry another two buckets of water, but if she went back home empty-handed, the harsh old lady would surely call her names or even abuse her. At this moment, the old man gave Liu the horsewhip and told her if she put the horsewhip in the jar, water would come out immediately and fill the jar to the full. With these words the man disappeared. Liu got home and secretly used the whip as she was told to, and it turned out the man did tell the truth. Days after, the old lady felt quite curious about how Liu could make the jar full of water without going out. She asked her daughter to secretly keep a lookout over Liu and the girl came to know the existence of the magic horsewhip. The old lady intentionally allowed Liu went back to her parents’ home and then let her daughter imitate Liu’s trick; sadly, the water kept running all time and did not stop. They could do nothing but ask Liu for help. Liu tried to stop the water flow by sitting on the jar, but the water continues to come out incessantly for thousands of years. That’s how the story goes about the Everlasting Spring.

Jinci Temple

Jinci Temple

On September 6, 2011, in Must-sees, Shanxi, Temples, Towers, Pagodas & Grottoes, by Jack Li

Jinci is a must-see in Taiyuan City. People also say that “Not going Jinci temple when you are in Taiyuan is like not going to the Forbidden City when you are in Beijing.” It situates in 25km away from downtown Taiyuan, Xuanweng Mountain. The Temple is under special protection of the state attracting visitors all […]

Jinci is a must-see in Taiyuan City. People also say that “Not going Jinci temple when you are in Taiyuan is like not going to the Forbidden City when you are in Beijing.” It situates in 25km away from downtown Taiyuan, Xuanweng Mountain. The Temple is under special protection of the state attracting visitors all over the world. The ancient trees soar to unbelievable heights. It is in compound with hall, pavilions, and towers. The Saintly Mother’s Hall, built from 1023 to 1032 during the Song Dynasty, is the most magnificent and oldest building remains of ancient in Jinci Temple. Jinci Temple is fine combination of natural landscape and architecture. The main buildings are distributed along the central axis from east to west. All the buildings are in compact and designed strictly according to traditional style. The cypresses grown in the Zhou Dynasty and pagoda trees of the Sui Dynasty are still vigorous, lush and exuberant.

Jinci Temple Attractions

The Buddhist Relics Tower

Everlasting Spring

Water Mirror Stage

Jinci Temple Stories

1.   Fengsheng Temple Pagoda Tree

Around the Fengsheng Temple there stands a giant centuries-old pagoda tree. The trunk is crooked but the branches are young and tender. Story has it the tree was old and dead until 1756, the Qing Dynasty. A Taoist priest was selling plaster under this tree claiming that it is panacea. However, no matter how hard he tried to sell his medicine no one cast a look at it. Disappointed and upset, he pasted the plaster on the dry bark of the dead pagoda tree. Miracle happened several months later: the tree began to branch out again! Nonetheless, it is probably just happened to come to itself after hundreds of years of sleep.

2The Iron man in the Jinci Temple

It is said that in a hot summer, an iron man wanted to cross the Fen River. When he was stranded in the heat by the river bank, he noticed that a boat coming from downstream. He waved and asked the boatman to carry him across the river. “All right. But I’ll wait and see if there’re other people want to cross the river. It’ll be such a waste to carry just you.” “Really? I’m wondering is you’re skillful enough to carry just me!” “How much do you weigh? I can ferry dozens of people except that you’re made of iron.” To the boatman’s surprise, the man began to freeze right in front him and the man looked rather familiar! The man was the iron man in the Jinci Temple. The boatman gathered some fellow villagers to carry the iron man back to the Temple. The Buddha commanded him to be whipped on his feet. Today the scars still can be seen on the statue’s feet.

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