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Shibaozhai Travel Guide

[an error occurred while processing this directive] Shibaozhai

Shibaozhai represents one of the gems of Chinese architecture along the banks of the Yangtze River. From afar, the protruding 220-meter (720 foot) hill on the north bank can appear to resemble a jade seal, and is so named.

Shibaozhai
Shibaozhai

The creation of the hill is attributed to the goddess Nuwo, who caused a rockslide while she was redecorating the sky after a fierce battle between two warring dukes. A red pavilion hugs one side of this rock. Its tall yellow entrance gate is decorated with lions and dragons and etched with an inscription inviting the visitor to ascend into a 'Little Fairyland'. The temple at the top was built during the reign of the Emperor Qianlong (1736-96) and access to it was by an iron chain attached to the cliff.

Shibaozhai
Shibaozhai

A nine-storied wooded pavilion was added in 1819 so that monks and visitors to the temple would not have to suffer the discomforts of the chain ascent. In 1956 three more stories were added. Each floor is dedicated to the famous generals of the Three Kingdoms period (AD 220-65), local scholars and renowned Chinese poets. The rising waters of the river will eventually surround the pagoda, which will be preserved with a tiny dam of its own, but left on an island.

Shibaozhai
Shibaozhai

In front of Ganyu Palace at the top of the Jade Seal Hill is the Duck Hole. It is said that as spring turns to summer, if you take a live duck and drop it through the hole, it will quickly reappear swimming in the Yangtze. In the past the monks apparently drew their drinking water from this hole by using a pipe made of bamboo.

Shibaozhai
Shibaozhai

The spirit wall in the temple's main hall is constructed of excavated Han-dynasty (206 BC-AD 220) bricks. The hall behind is dedicated on the right to General Zhang Fei and Yan Yan of the Three Kingdoms, and on the left to General Qin Liangyu (1576-1648) who fought bravely against the Manchu forces. A mural shows the goddess Nuwo repairing the sky.

Shibaozhai
Shibaozhai

In the rear hall are the remains of the Rice Flowering Hole. Legend has it that long ago just enough husked rice would flow up from the small hole each day for the needs of the monks and their guests. One day a greedy monk, thinking he could become rich, chiseled a bigger hole, and the rice flow ceased forever.

Shibaozhai
Shibaozhai

Shibaozhai, Literally means Stone Treasure Fortress, Located in ZhongCounty, at the south bank of the Yangtze River, 278 km away from Chongqing, it was first built in Qing Dynasty in 1750. Shibaozhai is one historic site that will look much different in 2009. When the lake formed by the Three Gorges Dam is completed, most of this bluff will be under water and the temple will sit close to the lake's edge on a newly formed island. The wooden architecture stands on the riverside.

Shibaozhai
Shibaozhai

It is built by catch upon a rectangular rock with sheer cliffs with a height of 56 meters and 12 stories. And every floor of the wooden structure contains interesting artifacts. Each of the 12 floors of Shibaozhai is dedicated to a famous general of the Three Kingdoms period (220-265AD), a local scholar or a remowned Chinese poet.

Shibaozhai
Shibaozhai

Climbing the 12 stories is not as difficult as it may sound because you will need time to look at the paintings and sculptures on each level. Nowadays, it takes about 1.5 hours to climb from the pier to the top of Shibaozhai and round back from a back footpath. from our perspective, the statue enshrined in temple on the top flat looks not quite uniform, the reason local people enshrine GuanYu (who is known as military god in Chinese) in the first room of the temple is there was local troop gathered here, and in the second room, the Yu Huang and the baby-birthing god, maybe the enshrined statues are what the local people need most rather than what you seen in Fengdu.

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