No. 100: Yingjiang Temple, Anqing, Anhui

(This article was published in the Shenzhen Daily on June 16, 2014.)

The Zhenfeng Pagoda (振风塔) is the primary attraction at
Yingjiang Temple (迎江寺) in Anqing, Anhui (安徽, 安庆市).

June 25, 2012 - The next morning, I reluctantly left Jiuhua Shan, and after a couple of bus rides, I arrived in Anqing, a former capital of Anhui province which boasts over 2,000 years of history. This would be my jumping-off point for trips into the nearby mountains, but it was also home to one of my targets, Yingjiang ("Facing the River") Temple.

Although I reached Anqing late in the day, the temple was just a few minutes' ramble from my hotel. As a bonus, I was able to take dinner in the temple's vegetarian restaurant as the sun set along the Yangtze River.

But first, a tour. The temple's gates are flanked by a pair of "three-ton" anchors, attesting to its nautical character. Some say the layout of the temple resembles a ship, with its primary feature serving as mast.

I'm referring to the Zhenfeng Pagoda, so-called because it is said to be so delicate that it "shakes in the wind." Fanciful though this may be--the tower appeared quite solidly-built of brick to me--it does have an interesting history, related to navigation. (Perhaps the name refers to the bells located on the pagoda's eaves, which do indeed sound when the wind blows.)

Built in 1570, the pagoda is located between two bends in the river, which runs north, then east, then north again. The pagoda is on the east-west portion, and its numerous niches once held lanterns, allowing its 83 meters (272 feet) to serve as a lighthouse, as it can easily be seen along this entire stretch of the river.

After dinner and a stroll, I retired to get ready for the next day's expedition.

GPS Info:
  • 30.50085, 117.05436


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


More pictures can be found here.

The solidly built Zhenfeng Pagoda at Yingjiang Temple, Anqing
A closer view of the Zhenfeng Pagoda
The Pagoda towers over the gateway of the temple.
The temple's gateway features two anchors said to weigh three tons each.

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