Walk Down the Incense Trail hike, 2014/10/23
On this outing, we followed an ancient pilgrims’ trail over a high ridge and hiked down to the one of the oldest temples in Beijing. Click through to see the photos!
We began the day’s hike with a climb through the forest that took approximately 40 minutes. Along the way, we passed through a pine forest that is a good place to hunt for mushrooms and medicinal herbs. We often see donkeys carrying loaded baskets in this area, a vestige of traditional village life.
At the top of a hill is a broad plateau where we stopped for lunch, and after a rest break, we started the descent to Dajue Temple. It’s quite a peaceful area, and on previous visits we have seen people meditating and playing flutes.
Dajue Temple was built in 1068 A.D., during the Liao Dynasty (916-1125 A.D.). Since then, it has been expanded, repaired, and renamed several times. The majority of the buildings on the grounds now date to the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1358-1644 A.D. and 1644-1911 A.D.). The temple complex is expansive, and contains much to explore - five major buildings – and huge, ancient trees are also found on the temple grounds, mainly old pines and cypresses.