Chengdu’s enchanting Green Ram Temple is undoubtedly one of the most captivating and intriguing temples to be seen in the whole of China. Shrouded in the region’s frequent mists, the beautiful shrine seems mysterious and magical to the visitor. Numerous legends and folk tales are recounted regarding the place of worship and it is said that two supernatural Immortals of Taoism, Han Xiangxi and Lu Dongbin descended on this location. Consequently it is also called the Temple of the Two Immortals.
The temple inherits a rich historical legacy as it was initially constructed in the 6th century during the Northern Zhou era. However, it only achieved prominence some three centuries later at the time of rule of the Emperor Xizhong of the Tang Dynasty. Apparently, the monarch found sanctuary at the temple during a period of civil strife. After the rebellion was put down, the emperor greatly expanded the buildings of the place of worship and gave it a new name. Naturally, these structures were lost with the passage of time and the buildings which exist today date to the Qing Dynasty in the 17th century. However, many of the existing buildings are based on preceding designs.
Amongst the most resplendent of the temple buildings is the striking Eight Trigram Pavilion, a handsome edifice which rises 20 metres tall, and is buttressed by numerous sturdy stone columns. This elaborate structure is adorned with no less than 81 dragon figures and features a figure of the highly venerated Sovereign Laotzu. Another imposing construction is the Hall of Three Purities which contains colossal statues of the supremely powerful lords of Taoism.
A popular feature at the temple is the two figures of bronze goats which stand near the principal hall. One of these creatures is in fact a combination of all the figures of the traditional zodiac of China, and is much photographed. You will also find a vegetarian cafe and teahouse within the temple grounds.
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Angela Fernando is an impassioned travel writer who composes pieces under the pen name Sumaira Narayan. She loves writing about new and exciting places around the world and hopes to visit them all someday.