Five Dragons Temple (Anshan, Liaoning)

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Originally constructed in the 3rd Qianlong year of the Qing dynasty, the temple is located at Mt. Qianshan in Anshan, Liaoning province. It is said that this site was selected for the temple by Peng Fuguang, a Dragon Gate Daoist who, then on his tour, found that this place was a mixing point of five mountains which came together from different directions, just like five dancing dragons on their way to meet. According to legend, this place used to be clouded with an auspicious atmosphere. The Daoist named the would-be temple as Five Dragons Temple, after the geographic feature of this place.


The temple saw renovations and expansions during the rules of emperor Jiaqing, emperor Daoguang, emperor Xianfeng, and during the Republican period. The temple consisted of 28 houses, among which were the main hall, the front hall, the guest hall, the abbot's house, the Bell Tower, the Jade Emperor Hall, etc. During the Cultural Revolution, the temple, as well as the statues inside, suffered severe damage. It saw its latest renovation in the 1990's. Today, the temple consists of the Venerable Sovereign's Hall ( 老君殿 Laojun Dian ), the Hall of The Three Heavenly Officials ( 三官殿 Sanguan Dian ), the Hall of The Great Perfect Warrior Emperor ( 真武殿 Zhenwu Dian ), the Hall of the Master of Compassionate Salvation ( 慈航殿 Cihang Dian ), The Numinous Officials Hall ( 靈官殿 Lingguan Dian ), etc. Among them, the Venerable Sovereign's Hall is the biggest. Constructed at the waist of a cliff, it embraces a remarkable view. The hall consists of two-floored arches, boasting an area of 280 square meters, and a height of 13 meters. In parallel with its structure are a 6.5-meter high stature of the Venerable Sovereign inside the hall and frescoes, highlighting the Venerable Sovereign's salvations and conversions. Outside the hall are a triple-layer bronze cauldron. When the sun casts its rays on the hall and cauldron through the gaps between the mountains in the far end, the brilliance reminds one of the Great All-Embracing Heaven where the Venerable Sovereign is giving the teachings.


Inside the courtyard of the temple stands a big incense burner made of black jade. When you knock on it, the burner produces pleasant metallic sounds.


Outside the temple lies a huge stone which stretches for 10 meters. The shape of the stone reminds of one a ruminating cow. People call it 'sleeping cow stone'. Just below the belly of the cow is a well in the shape of the new moon. The well is more than 10 metres deep, and famous for the sweetest water in the whole mountain. According to historical tales, emperor Taizong of the Tang dynasty and Xue Rengui, the great general were drinking water from the well when a golden carp jumped from inside it. General Xue grasped the carp. In his hand, the fish threw itself into a tree. 'The carp penetrating a tree' has become a famous site since then. In the 11th Jiaqing year of the Qing dynasty, the Daoists in the temple reshaped the mouth of the well into a new moon. Since then, it is popularly known a 'the new moon well'.