Train is too easy in Chengdu, just hop on no.64 city bus to Railway Station. If you see too many peoples queueing for tickets, don't panic, this tip will help you. I was there to buy just 2 tickets but had to queue nearly one half hour in full sweat, because too many peoples there. You probably cannot imagine how many is too many, I can explain a bit for you. There were already 50 counters or more with 50 attendants working full speed, yet I still have to queue among one of the lines, each line has about 50 peoples. Don't panic sir, you can actually buy the ticket outside the railway station which is very easy just walk across the road to shops opposite, you can see many shops there offering services with a computer online for tickets and they charge extra 5 yuan only, so why queue?
Wenshu Yuan - Wenshu Temple - Part II
There are a number of stories about how the temple became associated so strongly with Wenshu, but all are associated with a monk called Cidu. The most common version is that Cidu was meditating when he saw a red light glowing which became a fireball that metamorphosed into Wenshu, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom.
Like many temples in the area, the ginko tree is prominent, both free-standing and as bonsai versions in elegant pots. This living fossil tree is very common in the area, and its light green fan-shaped leaves are very distinctive.
Given the importance of Manjusri to the Wenshu Yuan, there are many paintings and statues of the bodhisattva all around the temple, most notably in the first and fourth halls in the complex. In the first hall, note the representations with Puxian on the left on an elephant and Wenshu on the right riding a tiger. The tiger reappears in many paintings throughout the complex, most visibly as the huge backdrop on the rear wall of the fourth hall (the Tripitaka Pavilion). Also in this hall is the jade Buddha brought back from Burma in 1922 by Xing Lin.
As is common in Chinese temples, more information is provided on the signboards about the emperors who did things at the temple than the deities that they worshipped; it's a curious Sinification of Buddhist culture that has its parallel in museums where evrything but everything is placed in a Chinese context, usually to demonstrate Chinese prowess or ingenuity (first, best, last, greatest, most wonderful). The core of history and culture is being wrapped in a Chinese blanket.
"Chengdu 1987 and 1993"
My first time in Chengdu was 1987. With a friend I did a four days adventure trip to Jiuzhaigou. Please read more of my adventure in my travelogue! Or go to my Jiuzhaigou-Page.
I liked Chengdu very much in 1987: old wooden houses, friendly people, nice markets. A very nice Chinese Opera house. And the impressive Wenshu-monastery!
Many years I did not want to go back to Chengdu, as I liked it so much in 1987 and I knew, that everything must have changed during the years.
But in 1993 I came back and it was even worse than I had thought. I arrived by bus in the north of the city near the train station and had to take another bus to the south for the hotel. This busride took almost one hour. Chengdu looked like a city after a terrible war: big holes where the old houses had been. Big cranes were building high modern office buildings. I hated it! But then I came back to Wenshu-Monastery, which had changed from a quiet temple to a bustling Buddhist university with lots of worshippers. This made me feel at peace with all the changes.