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Daming Temple

Daming Temple, located on a hillslope in the northwestern suburb of Yangzhou.It is one of the oldest temples in the City, having a history of over 1,500 years.

Once Emperor Qianlong by the Qing dynasty toured Yangzhou and was unhappy to see the name of the temple "Daming", for he took it to mean "great Ming". (Ming dynasty was ruled by the Manchus, a minority. Qing succeeded Ming.) For fear that it might remind people of the Ming dynasty, he renamed the temple "Fajing Temple" and put it down in his own handwriting. (Emperor Qianlong was a good calligrapher.) In the spring of 1980, in reparation for the exhibition of the statue of MonkJian Zhen, the Yangzhou Municipal Government hanged it back to "Daming Temple". Thus, Qian long’s inscription "Fajing Temple" became a mere historical relic.

In the main hall (Mahavira Hall) sit three Buddhist images. In the centre is yamuni, to his east is Master of the Medicine; to his west is Amitabha. On each side Of Sakyamuni stands one of his ten disciples, the older one on his 1eft represents experience and prestige; the younger one on his right represents wisdom and knowledge. On the eastern and western sides are 18 arhats. On the northern side six buddhist images represent six founders Of the Chan Sect Of Buddhism. At the back is an island on sea with Guanyin (God or Godness of Mercy) standing on the head of a huge turtle. According to Buddhist Sutra, he can deliver all living creatures from any suffering. Those in misery need only call him and he will come to their rescue. He is sometimes portraited as a man and some time as a woman. Actually he has a man's body but a woman's appearance, repre- senting kindness.

In front of Daming Temple there is an acient decorated archway in the midst Of ancient trees. It bears the insription "Ruins of Xiling". In AD 601(Sui dynasty) a nine-storey. Xi1ing Tower was built in the compound Of Daming Temple. Many famous poets of the Tang dynasty visited and mounted the tower and wrote moving poems. Later Xiling Tower Was burnt down, leaving Only itS ruins. Five big Chinese characters are inscribed on the eastern wall Of the Temple"the First in Huaidong"Which mean that the scenery of Daming Temple Was the best and most Worth visiting in Yangzhou. These are the words of praise taken from a famous poet of the NOrthern Song dynasty Qin Shaoyou,who once toured this place and was fascinated by its beautiful scenery.

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