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Black Dragon Pool

Located 11 kilometres north of Chunking at the foot of the Longquan Mountains, the park seems to be neglected by many tourists from other provinces and countries.

It is said that there was once a black dragon living in its namesake, the Black Dragon Pool. Standing on the stone bridge spanning the pool, the tourist can find that water on the left and on the right are quite different; the deeper pool is formed by a bubbling spring and is clear and green; the shallow one is muddy. From the Tang Dynasty and till the early 1900s, local people held memorial ceremonies for the dragon hoping it would bring rain to the land. The Taoist Dragon Spring Temple, the largest structure in the park, was first built along the pool early in the Han Dynasty. More expansion and refurbishment were undertaken during the succeeding dynasties. Most of the remaining architecture was completed during the Qing Dynasty. The temple is divided into two parts--Dragon Spring Temple and Black Dragon Palace. Situated on a bank of the pool, the Black Dragon Palace is also known as the "lower temple" where memorial ceremonies were once held.

Stepping into the small courtyards and halls, the tourist could hardly feel a semblance of religion. Instead, they are quite like the gardens in Southeastern China. The Dragon Spring Temple nestled on a small hill, is known as the "upper temple." The stone steps leading up to the temple are lined with towering nanmu ( this kind of wood can give off an unusual scent reputed to repel mosquitoes in summer) trunks, which are so thick that two persons cannot encircle them with their arms stretched out.

With a history of more than 500 years, the temple impresses not only with its Taoist-style architecture, but also because of its ancient plants. At the temple entrance, there are two 1,000-year-old cypresses with limbs and leaves serving as two huge canopies. A plum tree is even older than the cypresses seemed to be no less impressive, although three-fourths of its trunk has withered since 1 9 2 3 . When spring sets in , plum flowers' blossom on.



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