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Qingyang Taoist Temple

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Qingyang Taoist Temple Introduction

Qingyang Taoist Temple has a long history and is said to take shape early in the Zhou Dynasty. At that time, Lao Tsu passed on "Tao Teh King" to the magistrate of Hangu Pass called Yin Xi, and said before parting: "please come to meet me in Chengdu Qingyang Temple after a thousand days since practicing Taoism". After three years, Yin Xi came here as agreed, and began to consult on Taoism upon seeing that Lao Tsu sat up on the lotus seat. Since then, Qingyang Taoist Temple has become a holy land for immortals to get together and for Laojun to deliver sermon on Taoism. Besides, it was expanded in past dynasties and gradually became the largest Taoist temple in Southwest China, later called "the First Taoist Temple in Western Sichuan".

Qingyang Taoist Temple

During the Huang Chao Uprising of the Tang Dynasty in 881 AD, the Emperor Tang Xizong escaped from Chang'an to the south for refuge and took this place as one of his residences. It is said that one night the Emperor Tang Xizong suddenly saw a ball that emitted red light rolling into the hall and then ordered to dig deep, accidently excavating out a jade brick carved with a line of seal script: "Tai Shang Ping Zhong He Zai" (means Lao Tsu will help Xizong to defeat Huang Chao). Tang Xizong was greatly joyful and held that this was an auspicious object falling from the heaven, thus considering Qingyang Temple as a Geomantic Treasure Land. With the failure of the Huang Chao Uprising three years later, Tang Xizong returned to Chang'an and issued an edict to grant two million funds for complete reconstruction of Qingyang Temple. In the Ming Dynasty, this shrine temple was unfortunately destroyed in a war and rebuilt until the 6th year to 10th year of Kangxi (1667-1671).

Qingyang Taoist Temple

There is a pair of treasures in Qingyang Taoist Temple, namely the two bronze sheep standing in front of Sanqing Palace: a single-horn sheep on the left and a double-horn sheep on the right. The former, donated by Zhang Pengpian-an intellectual of the Qing Dynasty-in the first year of Yongzheng Emperor in the Qing Dynasty (1723), contains the features of all the twelve Chinese zodiac signs: ears of rat, body of ox, claws of tiger, back of rabbit, horns of dragon, tail of snake, mouth of horse, beard of sheep, head of monkey, eyes of rooster, tripe of dog and rump of pig, while the latter was donated by Zhang Keshi-a believer in Chengdu-in the ninth year of the Daoguang Emperor (1829). It is said that any believer who suffers from headache or stomachache will be restored from sickness if stroking the head and tripe of the sheep. Over the years, the sheep have been worn smooth although such saying has been not proved yet.

Qingyang Taoist Temple

As a world's famous cultural tourist spot, Qingyang Taoist Temple has abundant architectural relics and historical relics. The architectural relics include the tablet which is hanged up high on the mountain gate and reads "Qingyang Taoist Temple", Sanqing Palace enshrining the supreme of the Taoism, Hunyuan Palace enshrining Merciful Ferry Taoist Priest and Doulao Palace enshrining Hsi Wang Mu. What are particularly noteworthy are the three platforms in backyard built on a earth slope: the one on the left is the Birth Platform where Lao Tsu was said to be born, the one on the right is "Sermon Making Platform" on which there is a statue of Lao Tsu who is giving his sermon on Taoism to Yin Xi, and the one in the middle is "Zijin Platform" also called "Tang Emperor Place" in which there are the statues of Li Yuan-the Emperor Gaozu of Tang, his wife and the prince Li Shimin. The historical relics include the stone carving art treasure-Bagua Pavilion, stone carving statue of Lv Yan in Wu Tao-tzu's Drawing Book, Sanfeng Statue and collected scripture block "Essentials of the Taoist Canon", etc. The one especially worth mentioning is the "Essentials of the Daoist Canon" which has more than 140,000 blocks with each made of pearwood and carved on both sides, and is the best preserved scripture block among the Taoist classics in China.

Qingyang Taoist Temple

Qingyang Taoist Temple has been the first Taoist temple in western Sichuan since ancient times. Many devout men and women come from afar to Qingyang Taoist Temple for worshiping on bended knees and consulting on Taoism. It is extremely bustling on the twelfth day of the second lunar month which is not only the traditional temple fair day but also the "Flower Fair Day" with a long history. On this day each year, the joss sticks and candles will be lighted and the bell will be rung inside the temple, while various exotic flowers and rare herbs will be placed outside the temple. The colorful flowers and noisy crowd add a little vivacious flavor to the quiet and peaceful Qingyang Taoist Temple.