Taipei : Longshan Temple「龍山寺 」
Longshan is one of the oldest and most revered temples in Taipei. Built in 1783, so the busy district of Mangka could pray to the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy i.e. Avalokitesvara, Lungshan is kind of an experience to explore. I mean. I was coming from Bangkok, where I had spent the week for work. Buddhist temples in Thailand are something different, like golden and white. Buddhist temples in Taiwan at some point started incorporating Taoist elements, making out of it a perfect example of Chinese architecture in Taiwan.
Interestingly enough, the temple was bombarded in 1945 (at the time, Taiwan was under the Japanese rule). Almost everything was burnt down, except for the goddess statue in the main hall, which remained untouched. Bit like the Buddha of Kamakura, who remained there while the tsunami destroyed the surrounding temple, the bombarding event turned the temple even holier than before.
I am not familiar with Taoism, but I am always impressed by the humongous amounts of incense sticks, food offerings and name badges all over the place. It is heavily detailed, colored, crowded, smoked, just as any other in Hong Kong or Beijing.
This time, I noticed something new, the Jiaobei Blocks「筊杯」. These are 2 wooden blocks, used for divination in Chinese culture. Basically, you ask a question to the deity and throw them. Depending on how they fall (one flat & one round, both round or both flat) it means yes, no or laughing "because you are asking something you already know". Chinese style temples are interesting to visit, but I cannot help it, Thai ones have stolen my heart for life. You cannot simply beat the combo of golden, white and bejewelled under the bright warm sun.
This is a clear sign of how China influenced the coloring of Korean Art.
Talking about details & colors
Feng Shui with a waterfall by the temple entrance
Lighting up candles
Praying very much
It seems that god likes same apples as me.
Orchids, buddhas & smoke
Goddess of Mercy
Small tower in the walled complex
Inside banana leaves there are special meat & rice balls, someone even left an ID for God to know where they came from?
Smoke all over the place, 9 sticks per person
Flowers and name plates, all over the temple columns.
Byakko ancestor, portrayed by the EXIT.
Longshan may be crowded, but it is well worth a visit if you happen to be in Taipei.
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