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The Hanging Temple, temple built on the cliff

Post Time: Sep 28 2011 By Charlie Chan

There are six hanging temples in China, with 4 temples in north and 2 temples in south.

The four temples in north are Hengshan Hanging Temple in Shanxi province, Changyan Mountain Hanging Temple in Hebei province,Chaoyang Hanging Temple in Henan province and Xining Hanging Temple in Qinhai province. The two hanging temples in south are the West Mountain Hanging Temple in Yunnan province and the Daciyan Hanging Temple in jiande, Zhejiang province.

Hengshan Hanging Temple is a temple built into a cliff near Mount Heng in Hunyuan County, Shanxi province. The closest city is Datong, 65 kilometers to the northwest. Built more than 1,500 years ago, Hengshan Hanging Temple is notable not only for its location on a sheer precipice but also because it is the only temple in China that includes Buddhist, Taoist, and Confucian elements.

The hanging temple is facing Heng Mountain, with the cliff above and the deep valley below. The hanging temple is about 50 meters above the ground, and it develops the Chinese construction tradition and style. The main characteristics of the hanging temple construction can be described as fantasic, precipitous and ingenious.

As stated in the relevant records, the general layout of the hanging temples includes the monetary, the room for meditation, hall for Buddha worshiping, Sanfo Temple, Taiyi Temple, Guandi Temple, drum tour, bell tower, Jialan Temple,Songzi Guanyin Buddha, Dizhang Buddha Temple,Thousands Hands Guanyin Buddha Temple,Neiyin Temple, Sanguan Temple, Chunyang Temple,Sanjiao Temple, Five Buddhas Temple. The layout of the hall buildings are symmetrical but involves variance in differenct levels, which is not only different with the temples built on the ground, but also the temples built on the mountains.

Looked out from the distance, the hanging temples is like a crystal relief, embedded in the cliffs; while the hanging temple seems to fly out when seeing it closely.

The hanging temple has not only the fantastic and magnificent looking, but also the special construction structure, with plentiful layouts.

"Magnificen", the calligraphy of Li Bai, famous poet in Tang Dynasty.

While Xu Xiake, the traveler in Ming Dynasty, named it "Fantastic site in the world".

At the entrance of the hangling temple, a stone stele of mark was established, saying "The amazing view of Hanging Temple".

At the entrance of the hangling temple, a stone stele of mark was established, saying "The amazing view of Hanging Temple".

You can see the hanging temples from the out walls and you can also capture the view from the telephoto camera

The carving on the cliff of the hanging temples is captured in my camera.

The Hanging temple photos taken above from the bottom of the mountain.

The Hanging Temple pictures taken from different angles

We don't feel safe when seeing the temples hanging on the cliffs, but they are just there, as stable and solid as they were 1500 years ago.

side view of the Hanging Temple                                     entrance of the Hanging Temple

The hanging temples spreading at different levels of the cliff

It is said that those wooden poles were not used when the Hanging Temple was first built. The wooden poles were added to make people feel safe when seeing them.

The long wooden poles support the heavy weight of the hanging temples.

The main entrance of the Hanging Temple and the long corridor

The steep wooden stairs of the Hanging Temple

          Narrow corridor, as it is built along the cliff                                  The Sanshen Tample

The tourists walking carefully along the cliff

Some of the paths are constructed by wood, and some are chiseled out along the cliff.

Tourists hold the rails of the corridor, when feeling nervous walking along the cliff

Looking down from the hanging temple, it can be breathtaking

The hanging temples seem to in the same body with the cliffs

The mountain opposite the Hanging Temples is the Heng Mountain. There are three characters carved on the mountain, which are "Chan and Buddhism".

It is June and the weather in Heng Mountain is cool already.

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Charlie Chan

Charlie Chan

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