No. 96: Baisuigong Temple, Jiuhuashan, Anhui

(This article was published in the Shenzhen Daily on May 19, 2014.)

Baisuigong Temple (百岁宫) on Jiuhuashan, Anhui (安徽, 九华山), is said to have
been home to a monk that lived to be 126! Hence the name "100 Year Palace."

June 23, 2012 - Leaving Zhantan Lin, I made my way to Baisui Gong, the "One Hundred Year Palace," another ridge-top temple. (Thank goodness for another cable car!)

Along the easy 180-meter path from the cable car to the temple, I passed the small, lovely "Flying Guanyin Peak" Temple; a spring; and a half-moon pond hanging on the mountainside, fed by the spring.

Like many temples on rough ground, Baisui Gong has an irregular layout, with its halls spread along the ridge like pearls on a necklace. The first one encountered has yet another of the gold-covered mummies for which Jiuhua Shan is famous.

Wuxia was a monk born in the 16th century. After visiting Emei Shan and Wutai Shan (other key Buddhist mountains), he settled on Jiuhua Shan, living an ascetic life and living on local plants gathered from the mountain.

When he died in 1623--at either age 110 or 126, depending on the source--his body was placed in what was then a nunnery. The body remained uncorrupted, and when Emperor Chongzheng heard of this, he had it covered in gold and had the temple renamed "One Hundred year Palace" in honor of the monk's longevity.

After visiting the halls and reverencing the monk's body, I went to the 500 Arhat's Hall, and then rested behind the temple for a few minutes to view the profile of the Sleeping Buddha formed by another ridge. As I sat, a large monkey approached--and tried to grab my bag! But it was too heavy for him, and I scared him away. That was my cue to take the bag and head for my next destination, as this was to be a three-temple day.



GPS Info:
  • 30.48158, 117.81024



Map:

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



GALLERY

More pictures (some identical to these) can be found here.

Half-moon pond fed by a spring just below the gate of Baisui Gong, Jiuhua Shan
The 500 Arhats' Hall
Inside the 500 Arhats' Hall
A carved wooden replica of the body of the monk Wuxia
A natural profile of the Sleeping Buddha's face lies behind Baisui Gong
One of the author's cousins tried to snatch his bag behind the temple



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