CHINA 14: THE GHOST CITY OF FENGDU
Our next stop that day was the ancient necropolis (“Ghost City”) of Fengdu.
Located on the north bank of the Yangtze River, and built on Mt. Ming (Minshan), many parts of Fengdu will be submerged, upon completion of the Three Gorges Dam project.
According to the Taoist beliefs, when you die, your soul is arrested and escorted the office of the King of Hell (Yama/Yen-lo-wang). On the way you have go through various tests.
This big statue
guards the gateway to Fengdu.
Then if you are adventurous, like a couple of our fellow-travelers, you can climb up a large number of steps to go to the base of the Temple, or like the most of us, you can take the easier way, and go up by chair-lift.
After going across the entry gate, you come to a
temple on each of the two sides. One temple is dedicated to the god of wealth, and the other one to the god of health.
Then you faced with the first test, crossing the Nothing-To-Be-Done-Bridge.
If you successfully passed the test, you come across are a few other temples before you reach the Temple of Jade Emperor, the god of heaven.
Then you go through the Ghost Torturing Pass lined with 18 sculptures depicting ferocious demons, and temptations.
Now, you are ready to enter the Temple of Hell, which is located on the top of the hill. Yama, the god of hell, is the reigning deity here.
But before you reach Yama, you have to be checked by the ferocious-looking deities.
Finally you reach the Last-Glance at Home Tower, which commemorates the site where spirits consigned to hell could take one last look at their families.
Altogether there are 48 temples, all built during the first two-and-a-half centuries of the Common Era.
At the Temple of Jade Emperor my camera card was full, and my spare card was in the camera bag, which I had left in our ship-cabin. May be the god of heaven want me to go to hell to take pictures there, or it was the result of a Chinese curse by the god of hell! Anyway, I have borrowed a couple of pictures from Sherry, a fellow-traveler, and have stolen another couple of pictures via Google search of Fengdu images.
Upon return to our cruise ship, we were treated to the Farewell Banquet, followed by a Cabaret Show consisting of entertainment provided by the ship staff. It included court costumes from various Chinese dynasties.
To our surprise, our dining-room waitress nicknamed Bamboo
and her companions performed a Bollywood (Indian movie) dance.