Ancient Chengtian Temple of South Fujian (Minnan)
From the end of Damo in the South Tang Dynasty to the beginning of Zhongxing（957一958 BC), the temple was built and preliminarily named “South Chan Temple”. In the fourth year of Jingde’s reign in the North Song Dynasty, it was given the name of “Chengtian Temple”. Its scale is only second to Kaiyuan Temple. It is one of the three largest forests in South Fujian. Since there are two characters “Yuetai” glittering with gold on the horizontal plaque of the vestibule to the temple, the temple was also named “Yuetai temple”.
Chengtian Temple together with Kaiyuan Temple and Chongfu Temple are named the three largest forests in Quanzhou. It has odd sceneries, such as “stainless” and “fragrant plum stone”. In the Song Dynasty, the seven-storey tower was built. During the period of Jiajing in the Ming Dynasty, Tanyue ancestral temple was built but subjected to fires of troops and repaired during the following dynasties. The present temple was renovated in the 30th year of Kangxi’s reign in the Qing Dynasty (l692). There are seven stone towers and stone pillars of the Song Dynasty.
There are two “free life ponds” in front of the precious hall of the Great Hero and two “towers flying from afar” beside the ponds. As for the history of the two towers, there is a legend. It is said that there was a traveling Taiwanese Buddhist monk who held two towers in his hands and begged for alms. One day, those two towers were gone. Later the Buddha came to him in a dream and told me that as long as he found the precious temple, and his real home, the towers would return. Finally the monk found the precious Chengtian Temple and settled down in the temple. Shortly after, the two flied to the temple and stood in front of the Hall of the Great Hero. Therefore, they are named “towers flying from afar”.