Mt. Jinhua Daoist Temple (Shehong County, Sichuan)

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Situated in Jinhua Town, Shehong County, Sichuan, Mt. Jinhua was named Yandunling in Han Dynasty. In the Eastern Jin Dynasty, Daoist Chen Xun came here to cultivate Dao in a hut. In the Tianjian Era (502-519) of the Liang, Emperor Wudi mandated to build the Jinhua Temple (Golden Flowers Temple) ( 金華觀 Jionhua Guan ). At the time of the Taizong Emperor of the Tang, it was renamed Jiuhua Guan (Nine Flowers Temple) ( 九華觀 Jiuhua Guan ). In the 2nd year (1065) of the Zhiping Era of the Song, the emperor bestowed the temple the name “Jade Capital Temple” ( 玉京觀 Yujing Guan ). In the 2nd year (1315) of the Yanyou Era of the Yuan, Daoist priests rebuilt the temple and renamed it Jinhua Guan again. Experiencing repair many times in the Ming and Qing, the temple now still preserves over 20 halls and over 1000 very high ancient cypress trees.

The main constructions of the temple include the Hundred-step Flying Rainbow Bridge, the Major Mountain Gate, the Minor Mountain Gate, the Southern Heavenly Gate, the Hall of Numinous Officers, the Hall of Celestial Masters, the Hall of Supreme Oneness, the Hall of the Eastern Sacred Mountain, the Hall of the King of Medicine, the Hall of the Perfect Warrior, the Hall of the Three Pristine Ones, the Tower of Scriptures, the Pavilion of the Jade Emperor. All the constructions are built in accordance with the shape of the mountain. Row upon row in tiers higher and higher they form a grand sight.

The main deity worshipped in Jinhua Mountain is The Patriarch Perfect Warrior ( 真武 Zhenwu ). Every 3rd day of the 3rd lunar month the mountains hold a temple fair in memory of the date when the Perfect Warrior legendarily achieved Dao.

Sites of interest in Jinhua Mountain also include the Platform of Study of Chen Zi’ang, a famous poet of the Tang Dynasty. Chen wrote a poem titled “Mounting Jinhua Temple in Spring”. Du Fu, the Saintly Poet, once visited the platform and wrote the poem titled “Visiting Mt. Jinhua Daoist Temple and Seeing the Remains of the School Gentleman Chen Attended”.

Together with Mt. Qingcheng Daoist Temple, Black Sheep Temple ( 青羊宮 Qingyang Gong ) in Chengdu, and Cloud Platform Temple ( 雲台觀 Yuntai Gaun ) in Santai County, Mt. Jinhua Daoist Temple is known as one of the four most famous Daoist temples in Sichuan.