Difference between revisions of "Hall of Respect Granted by His Majesty"
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Revision as of 12:29, 26 July 2009
Located at 474 Yuanshen Rd in the New District of Pudong, Shanghai, it is the biggest of the temples existing in the whole city and a historic site designated by the municipal government. The whole temple consists of the Ceremonial Arch ( 牌樓 pailou ), the Hall of the Sacred Mountain of the East( 東岳殿 dongyue dian ), the Hall of the Three Pristine Ones ( 三清殿 sanqing dian ), the Scriptorium, the Immortals' Chamber ( 仙居樓 xianju lou ), etc.
Originally called the Mansion of the Sacred Mountain of the East, the temple has a long history, which goes back to the Three Kingdoms period when Shun Quan, the king of the Eastern Wu, ordered its construction in honor of his mother. In the Zhenguan years of the Tang dynasty, emperor Taizhong ordered its reconstruction and renaming. Qin Shubao, the name of the official in charge, can still be seen on some beams of the building. The temple saw its next enlargement in the Song dynasty and its disastrous abandonment in the warfare during the Chongzhen years of the Ming dynasty. In the 35th Qianlong year of the Qing dynasty, the temple was rebuilt to worship the Great Emperor of the Sacred Mountain of the East. Covering an area of more than 20 mu, The whole temple consisted of the Hall of the Sacred Mountain of the East in the front, the Hall of the Three Pristine Ones in the rear and the Ten Kings Hall( 十王殿 shiwang dian ) on both sides as well as dozens of auxiliary houses. Its incomparable scale won fame for the temple, which became one of the renowned spots in Shanghai and an important destination for tourism and pilgrimage.
In 1982, the Shanghai Daoist Association renovated the temple, and reopened it for religious activities in the following year. The whole renovation program lasted up to the beginning of the 90's when its main structure was recovered. The whole temple consists of the Hall of the Sacred Mountain of the East, the Hall of the Three Pristine Ones, the Hall of the Four Heavenly Ministers ( 四御殿 siyu dian ), the Hall of the Three Officials ( 三官殿 sanguan dian ), the Hall of the Ministers ( 相公殿 xianggong dian ), of the City God ( 城隍殿 chenghuang dian ), of the Numinous Official ( 靈官殿 lingguan dian ), the Hall of the Earthly Branches ( 甲子殿 jiazi dian ), etc.
In the last years of the 90's, the temple saw its latest enlargement, which featured 'two halls and three chambers' and 'three sectors', namely, the Hall of the Sacred Mountain of the East, the Hall of the Three Pristine Ones and the Gate Chamber, the Scriptorium, and the Immortals' Chamber, and corresponding sectors for the worship of the Sacred Mountain of the East, the traditional Daoist Immortals, as well as local deities and popular Daoist customs.
The first sector consists of the Hall of the Sacred Mountain of the East and chambers in the eastern and western wings, featuring the worship of the Sacred Mountain of the East, the major gods of which include The Great Emperor of the Sacred Mountain of the East, The Primordial Lady of the Emerald Cloud ( 碧霞元君 bixia yuanjun ) and The Prince of the Sacred Mountain of the East ( 東岳太子 dongyue taizi ). The two floor chambers on both wings stretch along two corridors, consisting of 24 rooms in honor of the 24 Controllers respectively.
The second sector includes the Hall of the Three Pristine Ones and chambers on its two wings, featuring the worship of traditional Daoist immortals and local deities. As high as 18 meters, the hall is an old styled building with a double-eaved roof. Inside are the statues of the Three Pristine Ones and in chambers on both wings are the Ancestral Celestial Masters ( 祖天師 zutianshi ), The Three Great Emperor-Officials ( 三官大帝 sanguan dadi ), The Spirit of Wealth, Emperor Guan, The Highest Emperor of the Mysterious Northern Heaven ( 玄天上帝 xuantian shangdi ), The Master of Compassionate Salvation and local deities. ( 慈航道人 cihang daoren )
The third sector, consisting of the Scriptorium and the Chamber of Immortals, features Daoist customs and the worship of the Earthly Branches, which are located on the first floor of the Chamber of Scriptures. The Museum of Daoist Culture is located on the second floor, showcasing Daoist history, Daoist relics, ritual implements, and paintings. On the third floor is the scripture chamber, where important Daoist scriptures are preserved. Between the floors lies the Scripture Teaching Hall and in the east is the corridor of Daoist tablets. The Chamber of Immortals is normally used as a place for dining, official business, receptions, cultivation and gardening, etc. On the third floor is the VIP chamber, where a highly valued fresco painted by Mr. Dai Dunbang, the well-known contemporary painter, is well preserved. Now, the temple is open to tourism and pilgrimage every day.