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Hiking photos - Ingot Village and Tanzhe Temple, 2009/11/29

Tanzhesi was constructed in the Jin Dynasty (265-420AD), which makes it around 1,700 years old. The temple covers an area of 6 hectares, and is said to be the oldest temple in the Beijing area, even older than Beijing City. Many of the buildings that can be seen in the temple were built during the Ming (1368-1644AD) and Qing (1644-1911AD) Dynasties, but pagodas and other structures from the earlier Jin and Yuan (1271-1368AD) Dynasties still remain, including two 'Emperor Trees' that were planted roughly 1,000 years ago.

Before looking around the temple we did a bit of hiking in the hills nearby. The hike began with a vigorous climb through a forest to Ingot Village, where we examined the top-heavy rock for which the village is named. We made our way through quiet lanes and peeked into empty houses before reaching the village cemetery. A little ways past the cemetery we began climbing up into the terraced hills, where our guide showed us an enormous cave, the entrance to which was not easy to find. The cave was spacious of enough for a dozen people to stand up in! After exploring the cave, we kept heading up the hills to a trail that took us back to the beginning of our hike, near the Tanzhe Temple.

A side-trip to the temple gave us the opportunity to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere, beautiful art and architecture, and some very impressive trees. The hike ended with a brief visit to the temple complex’s Lower Pagoda Forest, which boasted pagodas of several different styles, including Japanese and Tibetan. After a delicious lunch at a local restaurant, we returned to the city.

Statistics: 3 hours in total, with 2 hours of walking at approx. 3.5km/h over approx. 6km; start and finish height 256m, highest point 471m (at the big gate), total climbing 380m. Estimated 891kCal burned.

Walking through woods, Beijing Hikers Ingot Village and Tanzhe Temple hike, 2009-11-29

We walked a trail through the woods at the beginning of the hike.

Steep trail, Beijing Hikers Ingot Village and Tanzhe Temple hike, 2009-11-29

For a while the climb was quite steep.

Autumn leaves, Beijing Hikers Ingot Village and Tanzhe Temple hike, 2009-11-29

Autumn leaves were still on the trees.

Abandoned houses, Beijing Hikers Ingot Village and Tanzhe Temple hike, 2009-11-29

Abandoned houses in Ingot Village.

Door of a house, Beijing Hikers Ingot Village and Tanzhe Temple hike, 2009-11-29

Despite being abandoned, many houses were still in good condition.

Walking in the village, Beijing Hikers Ingot Village and Tanzhe Temple hike, 2009-11-29

The village had many alleys and paths, and must have been a pleasant place while still inhabited.

Village steps, Beijing Hikers Ingot Village and Tanzhe Temple hike, 2009-11-29

We followed an old river-course down and out of Ingot Village.

Village viewed from above, Beijing Hikers Ingot Village and Tanzhe Temple hike, 2009-11-29

The trail lead down past this village, and then up into the hills again.

Vendor, Beijing Hikers Ingot Village and Tanzhe Temple hike, 2009-11-29

This lady was selling dried hawthorne (spice up your tea a little!) and some pumpkin, and was very happy to make a sale to Huijie.

Temple courtyard, Beijing Hikers Ingot Village and Tanzhe Temple hike, 2009-11-29

After hiking, we took a tour of Tanzhe Temple.

Temple courtyard, Beijing Hikers Ingot Village and Tanzhe Temple hike, 2009-11-29

Incense burned outside one of the halls.

Temple courtyard, Beijing Hikers Ingot Village and Tanzhe Temple hike, 2009-11-29

Another of the courtyards in Tanzhesi.

Pagodas, Beijing Hikers Ingot Village and Tanzhe Temple hike, 2009-11-29

After visiting the temple we took a look around a nearby pagoda forest - under each pagoda, the cremated remains of a monk; the more important the monk, the bigger the pagoda.

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