Memories of mesmerizing natural beauty….The Taroko National Park, Taiwan
After the visit of Sun Moon Lake on previous day, you are not ready for any ordinary sight and you love the day when your expectations are fulfilled or I should say, exceeded. To read about last three parts of photo story of Taiwan, please refer Part-1, Part-2 and Part-3.
Fo Guang Shan (Chinese: 佛光山) is around 50 years old, an international Chinese Buddhist monastic order and new religious movement based in Taiwan. The headquarters of Fo Guang Shan, located in Dashu District, Kaohsiung, is the largest Buddhist monastery in Taiwan. The organization is also one of the largest charity organizations in Taiwan.
Founded by Hsing Yun, the order promotes Humanistic Buddhism and is known for its efforts in the modernization of Chinese Buddhism. And availability of Star Bucks inside monastery premises is the best proof of it. Number of restaurants, cafes and shops inside monastery never makes you feel that you are in religions premises.
The entrance is not extra ordinary and at entrance, you can never imagine, what mixture of art, religion and technology, you are going to witness inside the monastery.
Beyond the Welcoming Hall are eight Chinese-styled pagodas on either side of the main avenue leading up to the Bodhi Square. And every step towards Bodhi Square reminds you how tiny we are and our problems. A peaceful surrounding, artwork everywhere and Statue of Buddha at the highest point….what else can you think of?
And yes, looking back from different levels, from Bodhi square will never allow you to stop the camera clicks…Proofs 🙂
Above the hall are four stupas that symbolize the Four Noble Truths.
Standing behind, there is an enormous seated metal Shakyamuni Buddha of 108 meters height and believe me, that’s the most beautiful sight.
The Center was opened at an international ceremony on 25 December 2011 and the memorable picture from the opening ceremony is mind blowing.
And with this, if you are thinking, this photo story is ended, you are mistaken. Remember? I said, the dream place was Taipei….So, I am yet to cover the main part – Taipei City….And of course, one more beautiful place from Taiwan…Stay tuned 🙂
Sun Moon lake is the most attractive tourist place in Taiwan and the largest water body in Taiwan too. Located in Yuchi Township, Nantou County, east side of the lake resembles the Sun and west side resembles the Moon and hence the name.
Located approx. 2500 ft above sea level, the lake offers many trails for hiking in surrounding area. The lake and surrounding countryside is one of the most scenic area in Taiwan.
Wan Wu temple is the proof of art of its kind. And even after dedicating a whole post to it here, I still feel I could not cover up it completely.
Ci-En Pagoda is another landmark around the lake. Built in 1971, in memories of late president’s mother, the Pagoda is an Octagonal building.
And when you see art in right weather, you appreciate it more.
The hiking trail of 700 m, to Pagoda and the magnificent sight of Sun Moon Lake through trail is a treat to eyes.
And when you are too busy spotting beauty of lake, you find the rope way station and your happiness doubles.
The Sun Moon Lake Rope way is a scenic gondola cable car service that connects the lake to theme park.
Running on Solar and Hydro-electric power, the rope way’s cars are painted red, yellow, and blue to symbolize the red sun, yellow moon, and blue lake.
And again, the lake from the cable car…..unforgettable sight.
And btw, did I tell you? The Sun Moon Lake offers a beautiful biking track around the lake and if you want to believe me, it would be one of the most memorable experience of your life to bike around the lake….
Do you think that’s it about Taiwan? Well, I want to say…stay tuned. Most exciting part is on the way.
Driving by pacific coastline in Taiwan is a memorable experience and you would not like to miss any moment of it, for sure. After enjoying the natural beauty at Taroko Gorge along with dark, hot coffee on Sunday morning, I was convinced that Taiwan cannot have anything more beautiful to offer. But as I said in first post, being proven wrong is something I like the most.
Located at the east coast of Taiwan, Qinghsui Cliff is considered as eighth wonder of Taiwan.
Not known about the fact, I was looking forward to reach to Taipei city by evening. When the driver stopped by the parking area and asked to walk by the cliff, I was wondering what could be special about it…
And here I was…..While walking on the black charcoal road and looking at clouds kissing mountain peaks; I could hear that lovely rhythm from Pacific again.
and that moment of AHAAA…..Those color tones from cliff and Pacific along with blue sky made the loveliest combination…
Knowing how Taiwan was formed was interesting…
The observation deck, where I can stand still for hours, looking the ocean blended in sky..
Splendid view of ocean hugging the tall mountains every moment, was magical.
Every step of the walk is picturesque and you don’t want to stop clicking…
Occasionally you hear the train whistling, at the bottom of cliff and I could imagine the joy of passengers enjoying the coastline from train.
And matching with blue and white colors of ocean and sky, I too did not miss out on opportunity of having beautiful picture here…
More about Taiwan……Tune in 🙂
If I remember correctly, a beautiful picture of Taroko Gorge was the reason to add Taipei in dream bucket list. Never thought the dream would come true so soon. Taiwan visit was a memorable treat to soul and will always be nearer to my heart..
Taiwan is a small island nation 180km east of China with modern cities, traditional Chinese temples, hot springs resorts and dramatic mountainous terrain. Taiwan is the most populous state that is not a member of the United Nations and the largest economy outside the UN.
When the itinerary read temple with famous Sun Moon lake in Taiwan, I was almost sure that I would not be interested in visiting that temple rather would spend time around lake. But being proved wrong always feels good. That bright, serene and picturesque temple is still fresh in my mind and therefore we will start Photo Story of Taiwan with Wan Wu Temple.
I will allow you to enjoy the visual treat rather than me inking words here….
The Wen Wu Temple (日月潭文武廟) is located on the perimeter of Sun Moon Lake in Yuchi Township, Nantou County, Taiwan
Previously, two temples were located on the coast of Sun Moon Lake. After the Japanese handed over Taiwan to the Republic of China in 1945, the government invested in developing tourism around the lake. Wen Wu temple was rebuilt again in 1969, increasing its size and constructing it in the Chinese palace style.
The temple consists of three halls. The first hall, located on the second floor of the front hall, is a shrine devoted to the First Ancestor Kaiji and the God of Literature. The central hall is devoted to Guan Gong, the God of War, and the warrior-God Yue Fei. The rear hall is dedicated to Confucius.
This layered and intricate temple is major attraction for the tourists. As soon as you have passed through one temple, you enter another and you do not want to stop.
Every wall and colorful carvings on them are mind blowing proof of art. You will not be able to take off your eyes.
The Wall in the very back of the Temple is like a gate to another palace. I was in awe. Could not stop myself for picture.
Want to watch the whole story in couple of minutes? Here it is….
(picture source : Google and my phone)