Botanists Find Enlightenment at Dajue Temple
2012-04-16 10:59:46 m.cri.cn Web Editor: Duanxuelian
The view of Dajue Temple from the bridge. Photo taken by William Wang for CRI, April 2012.
By William Wang
As the weather fast forwards into spring and summer, leaves spontaneously unfurl out of skeletal branches, and flower buds suddenly explode into colour. Oddly, one of the best places to witness this change of the seasons is in Dajue Temple: a spot at the base of Yangtai Mountain where Buddhists have managed to overlook austerity in order to create temple grounds which are a dream for botanists and landscape architects.
In early April, the white magnolias draw the flower aficionados. These sensual and fragrant blossoms appear in abundance for a tantalizingly short window of time, voraciously eating up camera memory cards. If visitors miss the magnolia bloom, they can enjoy other flowers and a lovely terraced garden that may be short on greenery depending on the time of year.
Even if Dajue had no flowers, the thousand-year-old temple is still well-worth a visit. A series of five halls scale the mountain, housing some of Beijing's most beautiful and well-preserved Buddhist statues.
Large scale and disturbingly spooky representations of gods such as Vaisravana and Dhrita-rastra occupy the first hall, protecting the grounds.1 2 3 4