Temple of Seas and Clouds

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As the most well-known historic site of Daoism in the whole of Northeastern China, Mt. Songfeng, about 267-meters above the sea level, also known as Mt. Jinyuan Ru, is located at Shanhe, a town about 60 kilometers from Acheng, Heilongjiang. It was said that Xiao Baozhen, the founder of the Supreme Oneness Doctrine, was living in this place when he was summoned to the capital of the Jin dynasty during emperor Xizong's rule. Patriarch Xiao was treated with great honor by the emperor and granted a tablet with the inscription 'Longevity Temple of the Supreme Oneness'.


Inside the Cave of Supreme Emptiness, there is a stele dating back to the 4th Chengan year of the Jin dynasty. The inscription describes a Daoist named Cao Daoqing and his cultivation life in the mountain. This is the only Daoist inscription of the Jin dynasty found in Heilongjiang.


As the most well known temple in the mountain, the Temple of Seas and Clouds was constructed during the Jiaqing years of the Qing dynasty when Wang Jiaochan, the founder of the temple, and his two disciples built 35 temple halls at the original place of the Cave of the Supreme Emptiness in the Jin dynasty. The whole temple included the Main Hall, which consisted of the Hall of the Three Pristine Ones ( 三清殿 Sanqing Dian ), Auntie's Hall ( 娘娘殿 Niangniang Dian ), Guanyue Temple, the Yellow Scripture Altar ( 黃經壇 Huangjing Tan ), the Northern House of Tranquility ( 北靜室 Beijing Shi ), the Supreme Emptiness Cave ( 太虛洞 Taixu Dong ), the Scriptorium ( 藏經樓 Cangjing Lou ), the Platform for Dipper Worship ( 拜斗台 Baidou Tai ) and the Towers of the Bell and Drum, as well as the Gate Tower at the mouth the mountain, etc. Inside the temple, there were bedrooms, dining rooms, a guesthouse, a storehouse, a grain mill and so on. The temple was surrounded by mountains, forests and clouds that created an atmosphere of fairyland.


After the founding of the People's Republic, the temple saw fewer visitors, crumbling walls and dilapidated houses until in 1984, the local government decided to renovate the main temple building and other historic sites such as the Scripture Arch, Platform of the Dipper Worship, the Cave of Supreme Emptiness and the stone steps leading to the summit, in a bid to reopen them to the public. Today, the Temple of Seas and Clouds is one of the most famous tourist destinations in the whole province.