Great Dragon Cave Temple (Zhaotong City, Yunnan)
Great Dragon Cave Temple ( 大龍洞道觀Dalongdong Daoguan ) is situated in Jiulong Shan (Nine Dragons Mountain) 10 kilometers north of Zhaotong City, Yunnan. In the deep woods at the foot of the mountain, a pure spring flows out from a huge dragon-like rock in a big cave, which is thus named Great Dragon Cave. With fine water quality, the spring is one of the main water sources of Zhaotong City. According to a record on a tablet, at the time of the Qianlong Era (1736-1795), there was only a small shrine here for local people offering incense. During the Xianfeng Era (1851-1861) it was changed into a Daoist temple when Kuang Yongyao, a Daoist priest of The Dragon Gate Sect ( 龍門派Longmen Pai ) came to live here. During the Guanxu Era (1875━1908), Abbot Wu Yuanzheng repaired and extended the temple. Then priests Zhou Yongqing and Dai Zongcheng successively presided over the temple and made some repairs.
The temple now has two main halls for Statues of Celestial Master Zhang, The Great Perfect Warrior Emperor, Lü Dongbin, Qiu Chuji, the King of Medicine and The Three Officials. Besides, it has dozens of rooms, such as the gate-tower and side rooms. In the mountains and rivers, there are several alcoves and a stone boat. In 1982, the Great Dragon Cave Temple was opened as a park. In 1983, Zhaotong government invited a Daoist priest from Qingcheng Mountain, Sichuan to preside as abbot in the temple.
Near mountains and rivers, Great Dragon Cave Temple has gorgeous scenery. With the progress in repair and development, it attracts more and more pilgrims and tourists. Every 8th of the 2nd lunar month Zhaotong people enjoy their traditional festival of “Playing in the Dragon Cave”.