First there was Tanzhe, then there was Beijing. – Chinese Proverb
So there was a saying that early temple prayers are good for your soul. We got up at 5am one Saturday morning and out of downtown Beijing by 7. Around 8 we got around one of the oldest – if not the oldest temple around here.
We passed a small courtyard house on our way up. Too early for it open.
Early morning mountain walk during middle of summer proved to be one of the most refreshing things I have done in the longest time. After about 20 minutes of walk up, we arrived at the gate of the man himself, Tanzhe Temple.
Two friends, Renrei and Xiaolin.
Incense table with prayer guide.
Temple at the second courtyard.
The wooden banner was clearly granted by one of the emperors during Qing Dynasty, with his stamp middle top.
Giant bell next to the hall, with donors names.
Another incense table.
and there is a seat down here
Inscription, most of the contents wiped out during Culture Revolution.
Wooden prayer plates that you could buy, write your name on it and offer it.
Prayer banners. In front of God of Education there were significant number of people praying for good grades (yellow colored), clearly this is right after gaokao (college entrance examination in June, which the scores have just came out in July).
Steep uphill for the next temple.
Pineapple candles to represent perfection
Another beautifully written wooden banner by an emperor.
Huge stupa nested among the buildings in the back.
Make a wish and walk around it three times.
Growing tired as the sun came up.
Roofs hiding among trees
Going up higher.
Temple for God of Education, with a big red banner wishing all students best luck in their College Entrance Exams.
A round temple not far down.
Chinese character “yuan”, meaning connection in many levels (time, space, location, usually representing the intriguing relationship).
Incense that could last a week to two weeks, stacked up person-tall.
You could buy them from the ladies over there, but they weren’t too happy when I told them I’m a bit allergic to smoke.
parsimony tree with unripe fruits.
Heading down to the valley.
A pond where this temple was named after.
Crossing the valley, to the other side.
A little quiet courtyard standing by itself, separated from the rest of the complex.
You could enjoy tea on top of this courtyard.
and enjoy the view.
a small pond in the middle of the courtyard.
With turtles resting on a bamboo raft, a huge turtle buried under many smaller turtles.
This rock looks like a person.
Found a few stands around here selling offerings that shaped like gigantic coins from ancient times.
You offer your gigantic coin to the God of Wealth here.
On our way out we found this white-barked tree.