Friday, January 31, 2014

Day 157 – Three Pagodas

Today we went to see a place called “The Three Pagodas.”  Around 800 A.D. they built these three pagodas.  Then in 1451, an earthquake hit the area.  It did a lot of damage to other areas, but the three pagodas still stood.  However, one of the pagodas tilted to the north quite a bit.  After a while it righted itself some and while it still leans, its not as much.
The Three Pagodas.  Our guide was joking and told us there were actually six... when you count the ones that reflect in the water...

The place west of the pagodas had many Buddhist shrines.

The tallest of the Three Pagodas has sixteen stories.

This is the leaning pagoda.  It has ten stories

While we were there, the Buddhist monks had started their prayers, so we stayed and listened to the chants for a while and our guide explained that there are three main Buddhist sects, or divisions.  Each of the temples that have been built in the area west of the three pagodas is for the different sects of Buddhism to worship. 
The largest shrine where they were praying.

This is the Buddhist goddess of mercy.  She has five faces to see in each direction and many hands to give help.

A view of the lake in Dali from the shrines on the side of the mountain.

This Buddhist god lets you know if it is a place where the monks can get food, shelter and pray.  The sword laying in his arms in this position tells us that.  If the arm was holding the sword in the air, they could get food and pray, but not stay.  If the sword or mace were being pointed down,  a monk could only pray there.  There are also women monks in the Buddhist religion, a fact I didn't know.

Buddhism has many different gods and each one is one a different “level” of power and they have different purposes.  It was interesting to have our guide explain about the sitting Buddha with the huge belly that many of us know as the “Laughing Buddha” or “Happy Buddha” or “Smiling Buddha.”  The purpose of this Buddha god is to take your burdens into his big belly so that you don’t have to worry about them and you can live a happier life.  He has big ears so that he can hear your problems and take them on himself.  Just an interesting fact that we learned.
Laughing Buddha.

After we were done at the Three Pagodas, we went to a marble factory.  They also had jade there.  We walked around and looked at many beautiful pieces that had been carved.  Then we were taken to lunch Chinese style again, of course.
Lily, our Chinese friend from Ji'nan has been with us on this trip.  She bought this ethnic outfit today at the market.  She looks great! 
A marble table that was carved with a lotus blossom on it.  Wish you could see it better.

Carved lions.  Right after I got this picture, the people in the store told someone else that was about to take a picture that we couldn't take pictures there.  Oh well...

The afternoon was devoted to free time, so David and I used the time to get caught up on the computer and take naps.  David feels the start of a cold coming on, so we felt that the rest time would be to our best benefit.  Several of the tour group have come down very sick, so we hope we can avoid it, but who knows.

Dinner was on our own, so we walked to the Old Town area and looked for a restaurant.  We met up with the Pace’s, and they had planned to go with the Clarke’s, so we tagged along.  We found a restaurant that served “American” food, so we ordered hamburgers, pizza and “milk shakes.”  Shortly after we had placed our order, Steve and Sue Schauerhamer came along and the came and ate with us.

David and I did a little shopping after that and then we had planned to go to the grocery store and get some things for a lunch tomorrow since our flight leaves about 11 and the airport doesn’t have any restaurants, but by the time we got to where it was, it had closed for the night.  We found a little bakery and got some things and then headed back to the hotel.

1 comment:

Caleb said...

At first I thought the marble was a brain! I wondered if they'd tried to feed you monkey brains! :)

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