Shibaozhai is a small hill 660 feet ( 200 meters) tall on the banks of the Yangtze River. On the river side of the hill lays a famous red pavilion which provides a gateway to the temple situated on the top of the hill.
Here are 10 facts about Shibaozhai Temple:
1) Shibaozhai consists of a gate, a pavilion and a temple.
2) The gate is very colourful and very exvisite. Its stands out in its bright yellow colour.
3) The shape of the Pavilion is unusual, resembling the shape of pyramids and it’s painted in the red colour which stands out against greenery which surrounds the hill.
4) Pavilion has 9 floors and its build without using any nails.
5) The steps are very narrow and squeaky.
6) Before the construction of pavilion (1819) people were hoisted to the top of the hill using a system of chains.
7) Inside the pavilion, there are steles and inscriptions of past dynasties of each floor.
8) It was known that the water would reach the building during construction of the Three Gorges Dam and the government built a coffer dam to protect it. Now it’s much easier to get to the Shibaozhai.
9) The temple at the top is a Taoist Temple dedicated to the god Mansjuri.
10) There were two interesting features of the Shibaozhai temple: the Duck Well at the top of the hill. Legends says that you can take a duck and drop it down the well and it will reappear swimming in the Yangtze. The Rice Flowing Well is the second feature. Legend has it that rice would flow out of the small well hole each day in order to feed the monks and their guests. But one day a greedy monk chiselled a bigger hole in the rock, thinking he would get more rice. Of course, the rice flow ceased forever.
You can visit the Shibaozhai Temple on the Yangtze River Cruise which is featured on the 15 day The Land of Nine Dragons Tour.