Tanzhe Temple, Beijing, China

First there was Tanzhe, then there was Beijing. – Chinese Proverb

2014-08-09 026

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.

2014-08-09 028

We passed a small courtyard house on our way up.  Too early for it open.

2014-08-09 030

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.

2014-08-09 031

Two friends, Renrei and Xiaolin.

2014-08-09 034_stitch

Front courtyard

2014-08-09 035

Incense table with prayer guide.

2014-08-09 036

Incense burning.

2014-08-09 037

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.

2014-08-09 041

Another incense table.

Thousand-year-old tree.

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.

2014-08-09 054

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.

2014-08-09 058

Pineapple candles to represent perfection

2014-08-09 059

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.

2014-08-09 069_stitch

Roofs hiding among trees

2014-08-09 079

Chinese gargoyles.

Going up higher.

2014-08-09 084_stitch

Temple for God of Education, with a big red banner wishing all students best luck in their College Entrance Exams.

2014-08-09 086

A round temple not far down.

2014-08-09 090

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.

2014-08-09 094

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.

 2014-08-09 101

Heading down to the valley.

2014-08-09 102

A pond where this temple was named after.

2014-08-09 106 (2)

Crossing the valley, to the other side.

2014-08-09 106

A little quiet courtyard standing by itself, separated from the rest of the complex.

You could enjoy tea on top of this courtyard.

2014-08-09 106_stitch

and enjoy the view.

2014-08-09 107

a small pond in the middle of the courtyard.

2014-08-09 108

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.

2014-08-09 122

You offer your gigantic coin to the God of Wealth here.

On our way out we found this white-barked tree.