The Yandi Temple (Yandisi) - not to be confused with the Yandi Mausoleum - is a new temple, built in 1992, to honour the God of Agriculture.
The temple grounds are clean and uncluttered by souvenir shops, and there is a frieze of information about Baoji and the region along the outer temple wall.
The main temple hall, on a raised platform, backs onto the railway, but is still a refreshingly simple and appropriate memorial to someone worshipped widely in China through the ages.
The huge statue of Yandi is actually a bit of a let down, but the frescoed walls are absolutely superb. They are modern, and show Soviet-style figures but the muted blue/gree/grey colouring is masterful. I would never have imagined that such stunning art could be found in a modern temple building, which are normally the preserve of gaudy, baubly, garish colours and decorations.
This temple is, architecturally and artistically, and absolute gem of modern Chinese design and style.
Yandi is the God of Agriculture, and Baoji is his hometown.
His burial place is a grassy mound high up on Changyangshan, to the south of the town, across the Weihe.
The entrance to the series of small, quiet temples is hidden off the main street behind a small park off the road to Dasanguan.
The lower temple is rarely visited, and is peaceful but for the mad guard dog. Various small halls and cave niches contain statues in bronze and even cement of the wise old God. Many of the rooms have bautiful, naive frescos showing scenes from Yandi's life. Sadly, some of the frescos are showing signs of damage from damp.
Walk up the lane behind the temple and then cut up the stairway to the main mausoleum area. A further fee is payable to get in to the grander complex of multiple temple halls, but even then you are not at the mausoleum! Behind the last temple is a processional path, ending in a massive 315-step flight of stairs to the hilltop. It is worth the climb - I promise - to find the tranquil mound, surrounded by modern steles and pine trees. The view over Baoji and the dry terraced fields is wonderful. Just you, and the spirit of Yandi, looking out over the cradle of Chinese civilization.
Clearly the cool place to be and be seen.
Good, LOUD music. Cheap beer.
Friendly, talkative crowd - bearing in mind the music volume.
No hassle from anyone: male or female....just good-natured fun - and this was on a Monday night!
Dress Code: Whatever.
Easy station to use. Main ticket hall has just one access point and train numbers are shown electronically.
Ticket office is to the right of the main waiting hall, but no English at all.
Friendly, helpful staff.
Apparently T152 (the Xining-Beijing train is always lightly loaded and getting last minute ruanwo berth is no problem). takes an hour longer than the T76 before it though.
Baoji local government (Chinese only)
Listing of local tourist sites (Chinese only)
Listing of local hotels (Chinese only)
This topographical map is probably the best of the area. Useless for city use, but gives a good indication of the outlying area.
The city of Baoji is the yelow blob across the river from Yimen. Baoji itself does apear in the Falling Rain database (but not in VT's), but as is often the case in China, refers to a Baoji nearby but NOT the actual city itself!