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Sunday, November 2, 2014

LINGGU TEMPLE 灵谷寺 at Zhong Mountain Scenic Area Nanjing

The other reason why we quit walking through the end of the long and exhausting spirit way (Elepahant Road) in Ming Tombs is because we wanted to see the last of the three significant attractions in Zhong Mountain Scenic Area in Nanjing being Linggu Temple.

It was already around 4:00 pm at that time so I was worried the place would close before we get there. We hurried to the  shuttle station again and we were in the temple in five minutes time.
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Entrance to LINGGU TEMPLE 灵谷寺  Complex Nanjing


ENTRANCE FEE
The crowds were already gone when we arrived and the ticket booth at the main entrance was already closed. Add to that, it was already drizzling and getting dark fast. We made haste into the complex through an asphalt road adorned by tall trees on both sides making the air cool and the mood rather more subdued. I was getting worried.

Admission Fee: 35 RMB
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We did arrive on time. And the rain too. The downpour got more heavy once we entered the main gate. Again, the view is dominated by a road and trees on both sides. It felt like walking deeper into the forest. The goal here was to see the pagoda and at the entrance, the pagoda was nowhere to be seen.
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The first building we got into was rather a hallow one. With nothing but big signs in Chinese characters.


ABOUT LINGGU TEMPLE
As an important part of the Scenic Area of Dr. Sun Yat-sen’s Mausoleum, the Scenic Spot of Linggu Temple has many places of interests, including Kaishan Temple (an ancient temple of the Six Dynasties), the tomb tower of Bao Zhi (a famous monk in the Liang Dynasty), Wangong Pond (built in the Ming Dynasty) , the largest beamless hall existing in China, Linggu Tower (built in the period of the Republic of China) , and the tombs of celebrities in the period of the Republic of China, such as Tan Yankai and Deng Yanda. 
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In the Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty, a group of Buddhist buildings (generally called Linggu Temple) existed on this site. In the Ming and Qing Dynasties, this area gathered a cluster of Buddhist temples including Linggu temple. In the period of the Republic of China, a large part of this area was designated as a cemetery to generals and soldiers of the National Revolutionary Army killed in battles. After the founding of the People’s Republic of China, this area was changed into Linggu Park.
Source: >>here
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But this was not the pagoda yet. Looked like we were in for another walk. Twas our 5th day in China and we have already done a lot of walking. My feet were starting to hurt. It was not that fun anymore. Pero sige lang, need to see the pagoda at andito narin lang.^^
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We got into the pagoda finally after a walk that felt like eternity. The wholeness of the pagoda is hard to see from the small road leading to it as trees on both side have almost covered the view. It is a 9-storey pagoda erected by the Kumintang in honor of those who defended the country against Japanese invasion during World War II. That said, the pagoda is relatively new. I didn't know about this fact so I was a bit disappointed that it is rather new and not the old, historical structure that I imagined it to be.
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Interestingly, the pagoda is made entirely of concrete and they didn't use any metals. Meaning, the structure has no metal frame to make it stronger? That scared me, we climbed the stairs leading to the upper levels and I was thinking, this thing doesn't have any metal frame support?  what if the ground shakes, this place will easily break with us in it? 
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We were counting our steps on our way up and I think we got to the 5th level. That's the highest we got because by that time, the one in charge of maintaining the pagoda signaled that they were about to close. We went to one of the balconies to snap a few souvenir photos and at the same time enjoy the view. No wonder why they call this area "scenic area" , it is really scenic from here. Trees, mountain, sky. The place is so peaceful. Hard to imagine that only 30 minutes away is the large cosmopolitan area of Nanjing.
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HOW TO GET TO LINGGU TEMPLE
Visitors may take tourism bus no. 2 to Linggu Temple;
One may also take subway line 2 and get off at Linggu Temple /Zhonglingjie Station.

FOR MORE INFORMATION on  Zhong Mountain Scenic Area Nanjing
Visit: http://www.zschina.org/

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