Wuhou Daoist Shrine (Nanyang, Henan)
Lying on the Wolong Gang (Sleeping Dragon Hillock) in a western suburb of Nan’yang, the Wuhou Daoist Shrine was originally built as a shrine in memory of Zhuge Liang, the famous statesman and strategist of the Three Kingdoms Period. First founded in the Tang, the Shrine was destroyed in wars during the beginning of the Yuan. In the 2nd year of the Dade Era of the Yuan (1298), the Nanyang Government funded the large-scale reconstruction. In the 2nd year (1315) of the Yanyou Era of the Yuan, the people extended the shrine with Kongming College. In end of the Yuan and at the beginning of the Ming, the college was ruined in war. During the Chenghua Era (1465-1487) the college was recovered. Then in different times such as the Hongzhi Era (1488-1505), the Zhengde Era (1506-1521), the Jiaqing Era (1522-1566), the Longing Era (1567-1572), the Wanli Era (1573-1619), and the Chongchen Era (1628-1644), the people repaired the college. In the 7th year (1528) of the Jiaqing Era, the Shizong Emperor bestowed offerings to the shrine as well as the tablet “Loyal Military”. In the 51st year (1712) of the Kangxi Era of the Qing, Luo Jing, the then Nanyang Prefecture Governor, had the shrine repaired and extended in large size. During work at that time, a stone tablet was found with poems of ancient people praising the ten scenes of Wolong Gang. According to the poem, Luo restored the ten scenes. The present overall arrangement of the Wuhou Daoist Shrine still retains the style of the late Ming and Early Qing.
Wuhou Daoist Shrine is composed of four courtyards at the front, back, south and north. In front of the Mountain Gate squat a pair of stone carved lions roaring toward heaven. Still in the front are historic sites such as the Immortal Bridge and the Well of Zhuge. In the front courtyard, the Hall of the Three Stars lies in the left and the Hall of Three Officials lies in the right. The Priest Chamber Courtyard to the south is the place where priests hold religious activities. The upper chamber is the Hall of the Venerable Sovereign, housing a white-marble sitting statue of the Venerable Sovereign. To its left is the Hall of the Seven Perfected Ones and at its right is the Hall of the Eight Immortals. In the middle of the courtyard is the guesthouse. In the north courtyard there are the Hall of Guan and Zhang and the Hall in Memory of the Three Visits. In the back courtyard there once was a platform for astrology. Now there remains only a Tower of Tranquil Far-sight with a Statue of the Martial Marquis. To the left of the tower lie the Platform of Study and to the right the Tower of the Iron Horn. On the rockery in front of the tower there is a Knee-Embracing Rock that the Martial Marquis rested on, embracing his knee with his arms.
In front of the hill stands a hut with a tablet of Han seal Characters. Behind the hut a “small rainbow bridge” sees to its left the Pavilion of Furrow and to its right the Platform Accompanying the Moon. At the left front of the hut is the Pavilion of Ancient Pines and to the right is the Hut of Wild Clouds.
Collecting many tablets and inscriptions by famous literati of different times, Wuhou Daoist Shrine is a precious treasure of Chinese calligraphy.