Zhang Liang Temple (Zhanglang Miao)
Last updated by chinatravel at 2014/5/3
It was said that Zhang Liang, one of Emperor Gao Zu of the Han Dynasty Liu Bang’s major consultants or one of the “three talents in the Han Dynasty” (namely, Zhang Liang, Xiao He and Han Xin), retired from state affairs after he helped Liubang to obtain emperorship, and lived the life of a recluse in “Pigu”. Later generations admired his strategy of “being worldly wise and making himself safe”, and loftiness of “withdrawing from high positions after achieving great success”, and built a temple to honor him. Because Zhang Liang was once conferred the title of Liuhou, Zhang Liang Temple is also called the Shrine of Liuhou (Liuhou Ci). Having over 150 rooms in 6 big courtyards on 14200 square kilometers of land, Zhang Liang Temple was then a very large temple in the Hanzhong area. A construction of bricks, the temple gate has colorful stone as its base and the style of a cavity. Passing the gate, one will see a wooden bridge leading to two doors named Shoe-presenting Bridge, commemorating Zhang Liang’s picking and presenting a shoe thrice for elder Huangshi Gong. Passing the bridge, one comes to the Courtyard for Protecting Security. There are the Bell and Drum Towers, the Hall of the Numinous Officer, the Hall of the Three Pristine Ones, the Hall of the Three Officials. Passing the front and back halls of numerous stone tablets of celebrities of past dynasties, one then comes to the main hall. The main hall in the courtyard is for the worship of Zhang Liang. It is the theme of the whole temple---the splendors of outstanding achievements throughout Zhang Liang’s whole life. In the hall there is an overhanging inscribed board with the four words in large size “The Counselor of Emperor” glittering with gold. At the center of the hall is a statue of Zhang Liang, a magnificent figure with outstanding wisdom. On the left of the main hall lie the Southern Park with its pool, and the Pavilion for Memorizing Zhang’s Abstention from Grains. There is also the Pavilion commemorating Zhang’s learning as a pupil of Huangshi Gong, and the Clouds Tower for his coming back to the hill of clouds after his learning. Going through the curvy paths of dense emerald green bamboo, one can climb along stone steps to the top of the mountain. There stands on the top a pavilion named Book Transmitting Tower in memory of Huangshi Gong’s transmitting to Zhang a secret book, rising high and looking into the quiet valley lying between the heaven and the earth. The pavilion looks extraordinarily elegant. There are now over 100 rubbed cliff stone tablets, over 50 inscribed wooden boards, and over 30 sentences in couplets carved in wood or stone. Many officers who did not get on well with their superiors, and literary men who were bored with the state affairs came here and left behind some words to convey their feelings.
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How to Get There?
It takes about five hours from Xi’an to Liuba, Hanzhong. There is a long distance medium bus from the bus station in Beihuan Road, Hanzhong to Liuba every one hour, which takes about two hours and the fee is 10 RMB.
Tips: (1) Explanation of the history and stories in the temple is available, but with certain charges depending on the size of the group who wants the explanation. (2) Shopping: specialties like ginseng (Liuba being one of the three largest bases for producing ginseng; for medium-grade, ten pieces per jin, that is, half a kilogram, and 60-70 RMB per jin), homemade honey (honey from flowers of ginseng and of Chinese herbal medicine; 7 RMB per jin), mushroom, agaric, Lingzhi, and so on are all available in Liuba County. (3) Zhang Liang Temple Tourist Festival is held on May 1st every year, and lasts for one week. The major activities are large-scale sacrifice, trade fair, tourist commodity exhibition, entertainment performance, and others. The climate there is also agreeable at that period. (4) The noodles with mushroom in the inn just across Zhang Liang Temple taste good.
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