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Indulging one’s inner Marco Polo

By Khalid Sharif (chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2015-10-26 14:58 Comments

Indulging one’s inner Marco Polo

The Big Iron Oxen[Photo by Khalid Sharif/For chinadaily.com.cn]


The impressive buildings display beautiful architecture and many ancient statues. The temple was first built by imperial decree in AD 589, during the Sui Dynasty (AD 581-618). The magnificent wooden structures were added to during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), and rebuilt in 1807.

It is the largest temple of its kind in the world. We had one hour to explore the temple, but I did not feel that was long enough. I wanted to look at every corner and capture it with my camera. I took a lot of photos of this precious architectural work.

After visiting the temple, we went to view the Big Iron Oxen. These iron oxen were cast during the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907) and used to fasten the Pujin Bridge.

The sculptures look in pretty good shape, and we watched a documentary about the oxen on a panoramic screen in a museum beneath the site.

We also viewed some photos from when the oxen were discovered and excavated. It was in the 1990s when the oxen were discovered and we were told there were eight in all, four anchoring the bridge at either side of the river. The remaining four are still buried.

On our way back to the hotel we stopped for a quick look at the Yingying Pagoda. I wanted to go to the top but everyone else seemed tired and not interested in a race to the top of the temple.

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