Day By Day

Friday, June 24, 2011

Return to China -- Part 18, Huating Temple near Kunming

Our visit to the Huating Temple was a real treat for me. The site is simply gorgeous and I was able to give my camera a real workout as we wandered around the grounds. Originally the site was used as the vacation residence for a provincial ruler, about 900 years ago, but it was converted into a temple during the Yuan Dynasty [about 700 years ago]. Since then it has been rebuilt and restored several times, most recently in 1923.

We walked along this wall and entered the complex by a side gate.

And were greeted by a familiar sight -- people playing cards in public.

The grounds are beautiful and irenic, a wonderful place to spend a lovely Spring day.

The goldfish thought I was there to feed them. At least, I think that's what was on their minds. 

A turtle suns itself on lotus leaves. 

Three turtles and a frog.

Eventually we headed for the main temple.

When we left the outer grounds and entered the temples, the mood changed dramatically. These figures are meant to represent "devas" [demigods] who guard the temple. They certainly are fierce.

I noticed that the fierce, violent devas are portrayed as black-skinned, while the light skinned devas are peaceful and display a love of music. I wonder what the NAACP would say about that.


Inside the temples. I had started taking pictures when an elderly woman came up to me and signaled that photography inside the holy places was forbidden. I stopped, but didn't erase the images I already had.

Outside the temples it was quite another story -- there was no objection to photography and there was so much to shoot.

Lovely gardens,

Interesting architectural detail,

More architectural details,

Doors and colonnades,

Brilliant colors,

Moon gates. I avoided taking pictures of the monks going about their business. This guy stepped into the picture just as I snapped the shutter. 

Religious texts, at least that's what I think they are.

Even the benches on which we rested made for interesting pictures,

More details,



Candles at a shrine,

There was more, much more, but eventually we had to get back on the bus and head for our next destination.

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