Baotong Temple 宝通禅寺

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January 22nd 2016
Published: October 17th 2016
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In the last week of January, I went and visited Bao Tong Temple here in Wuhan, China. I was unsure of what to expect from this place. I, first traveled by bus to the nearest subway stop closest to my home which happens to be the Optics Valley Station at one end of Line 2, and took the subway to the stop which bears the same name as what I am going to go see. The temple is in Hongshan District.

The temple itself to my understanding has over 1500 years of history in the area. First opening to the public in 1988. It was originally built during the Southern Dynasty between the Liu and Song periods AD 420-479. The cost of entering this temple is only 10 Yuan (~1.5USD) which is worth it. As I entered the temple grounds I was greeted with a vast courtyard mostly it's a parking lot. Just beyond that is one of the halls. Bao Tong Temple represents a very classic Chinese Buddhist temple, it has three main halls: Grand Hall, Meditation Hall and the Abbots Hall. Most of the architecture were built along the natural landform of the mountain. One of the most famous buildings at the temple is the Hong Shan Pagoda which was built during the Yuan Dynasty. This particular Pagoda was built to honor a monk named Lingjiciren. Although I didn't have a chance to see this pagoda due to the time of my arrival, late afternoon and it was closing by the time I got that far back in the temple itself.

I found everything quite picturesque calm and peaceful. Anyways back to showing you around. Just beyond the parking lot directly in front were asset of stairs and a small bridge which had a small pond with of course fish in it. To the right of the pond a bit further down would be the housing building for the monks that lived on the grounds. To the left was another building.

As I continued past the pond and up. There were trees on either side with pieces of red paper tied to the branches. Those are called Wishing trees. Now wishing trees are when people write don a prayer and tie it to the tree in hopes that Buddha would grant the wish. So I get to the first main building. You won't find any photos here out what the inside of the burns look like because out of respect for the monks and the religion.

As I wondered around there was this tranquil feel about the place. Again I didn't see the whole place. Some of the buildings seemed old while others showed to be more modern. All of which seemed maintained well enough. There was one building of course it was for prayers. The walls from about shoulder high to the ceiling were lined with Buddhist statues. Jut the sheer amount of statues were overwhelming. In another there was this 3ton jade stone. It of course held some great significance to the Buddhists. I know eventually come to me why. Of course this is a religious site for the Buddhists. But anyone of any religious affiliation can come here and are welcomed.

The whole area were brightly colored pleasant seems weaving itself through the air, the pleasant smiles of the monks. Although I do plan on returning to this little hidden gem within the city this coming weekend to finish the tour and actually see the pagoda.

I do recommend seeing this little gem of a sight. Well worth the price of admission.

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