Our Visit To The Chongsheng Temples Coincides With The Monks Prayer Session
The entrance fee covers both the Three Pagodas park and the adjacent Chongsheng Temples. The entire park sits on the slopes of Cangshan mountains, otherwise known as the Jade Green Mountains. It’s becoming apparent to us that these types of attractions in China have steep entry fees. This one was 120 yuan each.
As you make your way through the park you make your way through many different temples. Just when you think you’ve reached the end you walk out of a temple and see several more awaiting before you, each one higher up the mountain then the last.
When we got to one of the large temples near the top, we were lucky enough to stumble upon the start of a prayer session. Several monks were making their way up the steep steps that lead to the temple. The ceremony started with one monk banging on a large drum while the other monks repeated a chant over and over. At the sound of a bell the chant would change and then be repeated many times again.
A select few of the monks would take turns going over to an alter with an enormous Buddha statue. They made movements and gestures with a gold cloth that they held in their hands. They repeated a series of kneeling and bowing their heads to the floor with their arms laid out in front of them. All of this activity was being held in a temple that was openly visible, but we weren’t sure if it was okay to stand there watching it. We stood quietly and respectively as I snapped a few pictures. Other tourists were practically invading the monks space trying to get a closer shot.
Three Pagodas Park
The Three Pagodas form a symmetrical triangle. At 69 meters tall,the center one is the highest pagoda of the Tang Dynasty. Each of it’s 16 stories contains a carved shrine containing a white marble Buddha statue. In the late 1970’s a discovery of gold, silver, wood and crystal Buddha sculptures as well as ancient scriptures and over 600 medicinal ingredients were found inside the main pagoda during a major repair work.
The pond located behind the pagodas is named Juying Chi (Reflection pond). It makes the perfect setting for taking photographs of the reflected images of the pagodas.