Difference between revisions of "Stone Cave Jade Dragon Temple (Chaoyang, Guangdong)"
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Latest revision as of 11:36, 27 July 2009
The Stone Cave Jade Dragon Temple ( 石洞玉龍宮 Shidong Yulong Gong ) is located at the north of Mt. Dongshan in Chaoyang City. It was originally built in the end of the Qing dynasty. In those days, the townspeople often saw hairlike light at night there. They traced it to this place and saw a gigantic stone. After the dust was removed from the stone, a natural cave appeared beneath. It was covered by a huge stone and so was called stone cave. The townspeople worshipped Patriarch Hongjun and the Highest Jade Emperor ( 玉皇上帝 Yuhuang shangdi ) in the cave, and built a temple outside it, which they called Jade Dragon Temple. Later, only dilapidated walls remained due to changes brought by time.
The Stone Cave Jade Dragon Temple started to be restored in the 1990's. In 1991, the Hall of the Three Pristine Ones ( 三清 Sanqing ) was firstly constructed to the north of the cave. It was formally opened to the public in 1994. In 1995, the Precious Hall ( 大羅寶殿 Daluo Baodian ) of All-Embracing Heaven was reconstructed. Now all the divinity's statues are carved in whole white marbles. They are exquisitely made and extremely lifelike. The statue of Patriarch Hongjun is 2.2 meters high and weighs 4 tons. Standing on either side of it are the Stellar Sovereigns ( 星君 Xingjun ) of Supreme Yang and Supreme Yin. The statues are placed in huge shrines carved in blue stones, and around the shrine are balustrades carved in bluestone in the images of the 12 animals symbolizing the years of birth. Upstairs along the balustrades, there is a cave-in-a-cave. On the top of it is worshipped the Highest Jade Emperor. In the northern side door of the cave-in-a-cave, there is another cave, where [[The Three Great Emperor-Officials[[ ( 三官大帝 Sanguan Dadi ) are worshipped. Still up from the side door is the "second cave", which enshrines The Venerable Grandma of Mt. Li ( 驪山老母 Lishan Laomu ). Up again from the second cave there are five more caves. Altogether there are seven caves; they are known as "Caves Inhabited by the Seven Cranes". According to legend, whenever a Daoist persists in Cultivation and Refinement ( 修煉 Xiulian ), he will finally attain the Dao and fly to immortality on a crane. In 2000, another big hall was built to the south of the stone cave. In front of the hall there is a large memorial archway completely built in blue stone. Seventy-two divinities, including The Golden Grandma of Jasper Lake ( 瑤池金母 Yaochi Jinmu ), the Life-giving Lady ( 注生娘娘 Zhusheng Niangniang ), the Earthly Mother ( 地母娘娘 Dimu Niangniang ), The Big Dipper Lady ( 斗姥娘娘 Doumu Niangniang ), and The Supreme Year Star in Charge of the Sixty-Year Cycle ( 六十太歲 Liushi Taisui ), are worshipped in the hall. A bell tower and a drum-tower are built on either side of the hall.
The Stone Cave Jade Dragon Temple is one of the largest Daoist temples in the whole eastern Yue region at present.