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Thursday, June 21, 2012

No. 92: Huiju Temple, Jiuhuashan, Anhui

The trail from the top at Tiantai Temple (天台寺) led between the two main buildings at Huiju Temple (慧
居寺) on Jiuhuashan, Anhui (安徽, 九华山), although a new hall has been built behind the one on the right.
Of course, a temple (or any other place) usually puts its front door on the side from which cars approach.

So, having come down four or five kilometers of stairs from the top of Tiantai Peak, I was approaching Huiju Temple through the "back door." Nevertheless, what joy I felt in arriving!

The rear buildings of the temple were situated on either side of a large plaza directly behind the Main Hall. The newer one, encountered first on the way down, was marked "Mountain Gate Hall" over its back door. This is peculiar: usually the mountain gate is on the downhill side! It has a hall for Dizang, the patron of Jiuhuashan, downstairs, and a hall for the popular Guanyin, bodhisattva of compassion, upstairs.

Across the plaza from this newer hall is the older (or older-looking) sutra repository, with another statue of Dizang. A half-moon pond lies at the rear of the plaza between the two.

Down some semi-circular stairs, the mountain trail passes a residence hall behind the Main Hall, and then makes a turn to run between the Main Hall and the Weituo Hall, which hangs off the hillside.

Inside, the Main Hall has fine gilded statues of three Buddhas, with the eighteen Arhats arranged in glass cases along either side. Puxian and Wenshu Bodhisattvas have their own glass cases. The Laughing Buddha lives with his protector Weituo in the other hall.

Passing these and starting down the hill, I saw some vegetable gardens with small white bungalows beyond. The Jiuhua Shan Buddhist Association is also on the grounds.

(An edited version of this article was published in the Shenzhen Daily April 21, 2014.)

GPS Info:
  • 30.46805, 117.81581



Map:


(This may look blank, but it works--I promise!)



GALLERY

The Mountain Gate Hall of Huiju Temple, Jiuhuashan, with the main hall lying beyond.
The sutra repository is one of the first buildings encountered
The trail runs between the Main Hall (right) and the Weituo Hall (postcard above)
The gilded Buddhas inside the Main Hall
Bungalows and vegetable gardens on the downhill side of the temple
Huiju Temple's main hall (white) with the mountain behind
Tianqiao Temple (yellow, center); Gu Baijing Tai above; a hint of Tiantai
Temple over the top; as seen from Huiju Temple (roof in foreground)
Here and following: whimsical corbels on the Mountain Gate Hall

There are 11 pictures related to this temple (some of them identical to these, but with different captions) in a FaceBook album starting here (available to all, even without a FaceBook account).

Click here to visit the next article in chronological order || Click here to view the trip details

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