EXTRA: Erzu Temple, Yuexi County, Anhui

(This article was published in the Shenzhen Daily on June 30, 2014.)

Erzu (Second Patriarch's) Temple (二祖寺) in Yuexi County,
Anhui (安徽, 岳西县), is one of the most remote I've been to.
It sits at the foot of Sikong Mountain (司空山).

June 28, 2012 - The temple I wrote about last time--Qianyuan (Sanzu) Temple--was a little tough to reach, but I made it there and back with no problem.

Not so this week's temple!

After a day in the hotel due to heavy rain, I set out for the historic Sikong Mountain Scenic Area, named for an official who had hidden out there in the time of Confucius--testimony to how remote it is. For centuries it has been a place of mystery, a haunt for poets and hermits.

It is where Huike, the Second Patriarch of Chan (Zen), meditated for years. And so it was to Erzu (Second Patriarch) Temple that I made may way.

This was another two-bus trip: from Anqing to another county town (Yuexi), and from there to tiny Dianqian, a one-street village.

One peculiarity of this very remote place is the very modern-looking statue of Huike. I might have mistaken it for a modern rock-star, except it is missing one arm.

When Huike approached Bodhidharma, the First Patriarch, tradition says he was rejected. So, to prove his sincerity, he cut off his left arm and presented it to the old master, who accepted it--and him. The statue alludes to that shocking story.

My story, alas, ended less happily. I had arrived at the temple after 3:30. By the time I left, there was no bus to Dianqian, so I walked several kilometers back into town--only to discover that there were no buses back to Yuexi. So I negotiated an expensive private car and a couple of hours later I was in Yuexi, and--no buses to Anqing!

I spent the night in a cheap hotel, while my stuff spent the night in another hotel in Anqing.

But it was worth it.

GPS Info:
  • 30.73127, 115.98727


(Regarding problems with this map, please see the CHINA section on this page.)


More pictures can be found here.

The main hall of Erzu Temple against the dramatic Sikong Mountain
Looking out over Dianqian from Erzu Temple
New buildings are rising at the temple

    ← Previous Article Trip 16 Details Next Article →    

No comments:

Post a Comment