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0086 History of the Expedition in Asia, 1927-1935 : vol.2
History of the Expedition in Asia, 1927-1935 : vol.2 / Page 86 (Color Image)

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doi: 10.20676/00000210
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here and there in the grottoes where images of the gods have been hewn in the rock. Finally one reaches the monastery Ling-yin-ssu (The Place of Abode of the Spirits) , in the chief of whose temple-chambers one stands amazed at the pompous greatness of the Buddhist architecture. Within is a mystic twilight, but out of the half gloom one glimpses smiling images of the gods, whose gilded surfaces act as a foil to the red columns consisting of Oregon pines.

Behind the main temple one enters the Temple of the Five Hundred Lohans or the disciples of Guatama Buddha. They sit there one beside the other in endless

rows, with various facial expressions and robes, all gilded and over life-size, some serious, some jovial. One of them was thought to represent MARCO Pow, whose Chinese name was to be read on a tablet. But this is a mere fancy.

This is the only one of Ling-yin-ssu's halls that was not destroyed during the t'ai-Ping revolt. The main temple was rebuilt by the Emperor HsÜAN T'imrG at a cost of 150,000 taels.

Up steep stone steps, surrounded by trees, bushes and ferns, we came to the temple T'ao-kuang, that in T'ang time was erected to commemorate a celebrated priest and poet.

Up further worn steps of stone we went, to reach Pei-kao-feng (The Northern High Peak), from which the view is a blend of grandeur and charm. Down below

winds the valley with its luxuriant greenery, and in the distance one sees the plea-

sant little lake Hsi-hu, to which Hangchow's fame is due. On the crown of the hill is a ruined tower and a little temple with traditions going back a thousand years. Not far from here we visited the stone-set and crystal-clear pond Yü-ch'üan or The Fish Spring. It is said that about the year 500 a pious priest read prayers at

this place, and that the Dragon-King revealed himself in the shape of an old woman,. expressing his satisfaction at the piety of the godly man. A spring of the clearest water gushed up out of the ground and has since then been held in honour. In the pond swim several hundred red, pink and black carp, fat and flourishing; and it. is a pleasure to watch their graceful, playful movements.

One of our days in Hangchow was passed chiefly on the delightful lake, Hsi-hu_ Under the arch of a bridge in the long, straight pier that connects the shore of the big island with the mainland we floated out on the lake proper, gliding slowly past pleasant villas, temples and refreshment-places shaded by luxuriant trees. The air was clear and still; Hsi-hu lay like a mirror, reflecting pictures of hills, groves and houses. It would be difficult to imagine a more idyllic landscape. Occasionally one saw other boats, and under their white canopies sat youths and girls.

General Tso TSUNG-T'ANG, whose commemorative temple in remote Hami we had visited, has a temple at this lake. He put down both the t'ai-5'ing revolt in the 186o's and the Mohammedan revolt in Eastern Turkistan that followed on its. heels.