Peach Spring Grotto
Peach Spring Grotto ( 桃源洞 Taoyuan Dong ) lies in Liuqu Pan of Mt. Wuyi. With a gate of opposing cliffs, a zigzagged road leading deeply to a wide and flat valley across a stone bridge over blue brook, two pools for freeing captive lives, mountains and peach trees around, and about 20 acres of land, it is just like the "Unworldly Peach Spring" in Tao Yuanming's prose. That's why it is named Peach Spring Grotto.
Peach Spring Grotto Daoist Temple was founded in the Tianbao era of the Tang dynasty, when the fame of Wuyi Mountain attracted many cultivating hermits. Three Daoist Nuns from Kuaiji, Kong, Zhuang and Ye, came here in company and developed a land of bliss with peach trees for seclusion. They were worshiped as the Primordial Ladies of the Three Emperors ( 三皇元君 Sanhuang Yuanjun ) by later generations. In the Song dynasty, the Confucians Chen Shitang and Wu Zhengli, and the Daoist Bai Yuchan, the fifth patriarch of the southern lineage, also lived here. In the Yuan dynasty , the people here built an Ancestral Temple for Liu Wenjian and the Temple of the Triple Origin for the worship of Gentleman Liu and the Emperors of the Triple Origin ( 三元庵 Sanyuan An ). In the Ming dynasty, Peach Spring Grotto Daoist Temple was famous far and near. It contained the Hall of Three Pristine Ones, the Hall of the Three Officers, the Hall of the Perfect Warrior, the Hall of Grandma, and the Temple of Men with Merits. The halls, with many lofty Daoists living here, covered over 2,000 square meters. Wu Shi said in his poem Visiting Daoists in Little Peach Spring Grotto, "In an ancient village at the origin of a brook, about three hermits are secluded, not for refuge from cruel rule, but for refining the vital essence and mind. Planting and reaping in the land, they don't ask others for food and clothes. Flowers drop from palm trees at wind's touch; medicine seedlings mature for picking after the rain." The temple declined during the Qing dynasty, when several halls fell into ruins. In the 25th year of Republican China, famous overseas Chinese Mr. Hu Wenhu and Navy Commander Sa Zhenbing came to this mountain on a tour. Seeing the dilapidated temple, Mr. Hu donated 500 Silver Yuan as fund for rebuilding it. The two travellers wrote the stele "Little Peach Spring Grotto" and hanged it on the mountain gate. Suffering destruction during the Cultural Revolution, only an empty shell of the middle hall remained of the temple.
Peach Spring Grotto Daoist temple is approved as a temple open to the the public. The Bureau of Religious Affairs of Fujian Province attaches great importance to the revitalization of Daoist temples. It introduced three graduates from the China Daoist Academy to work at the Peach Spring Grotto Daoist Temple, and listed the Peach Spring Grotto Daoist Temple as one of key temples of the province. In 1991, Daoists had the inside of the great hall repaired and carved the holy images of the Three Pristine Ones with precious Hongdou China fir, each of 2.15 meters in height. Also restored were the brass incense burners and candleholders for normal religious activities.
1n 1993, according to the Temporary Regulations for the Registration of Religious Activities in Fujian Province promulgated by the provincial government, the temple was granted a license after examination and registration to develop overall Daoist activities. In 1995, Peach Spring Grotto Daoist Temple collected money and carved a cliff statue of the Venerable Sovereign, which is now the biggest in the world now. On March 4, 1996, a grand opening ceremony was held. Leaders from the Chinese Daoist Association, the province, and the city presided the ceremony, which was attended by over 3000 Daoist devotees from home and abroad. Sixteen meters high, 11 meters wide, and 10 meters thick, the statue looks lifelike, grand, amiable, free and easy.
The rebuilt temple covers about 6,000 square meters. The main hall is composed of the Hall of the Three Pristine Ones, the Hall of the Jade Emperor, the Hall of the Numinous Officer, and the mountain gate as the central axis. The foiling halls on the left and right include the Hall of the Primordial Ladies of the Three Emperors, the Hall of the Three Officers, the Hall of the Perfect Warrior, and the Tower of the Canon. There are halls for Daoists' work and cultivation, and sites for Daoist education and preaching.
Address: Wuyi Mountain Scenic Area, Wuyishan City, Fujian Province