Buddhist temple with high gingko trees
In China's renowned mountains, there are lots of temples with ancient
trees. Gingko trees are favored by monks due to their longevity
and elegance. A temple with hundreds of years of history can hardly
reserve the original constructions, but usually there are old trees
with hundreds of years of age, which were either planted by the
founder or celebrity of a certain time. Sometimes, the trees are
there and the temple is gone. The old trees that survive to now
have become the only symbol for us to seek the ancient temples'
relics. These trees have gone through all the hardship in the past
and give people a sense of mysteriousness.
Buddhism was booming in Tang Dynasty when lots of temples were built.
The well preserved old gingko trees are mostly found in temples,
as a result of careful protection done by the monks. Si Mo, a Tang
monk wrote a poem that is passed to now, which depicts the old trees
in the temple with large bells tolled in the towns down the mountains.
Gingko trees are used as replacement of linden trees, called by
Buddhists as "saint fruit trees" and the kernels are called
saint fruits. Therefore, "saint fruit" and "saint
fruit trees" are the names for gingko in Tang Dynasty and pre-Tang
Dynasty periods. Trees are the best witness for the years of ancient
Thousands of years of gingko as a totem
As the legacy of the Rock Buddha Temple in Fengqiao, the two gingko
trees are tall, with straight trunks, gorgeous profile. They are
pure green in spring and summer, golden yellow in late autumn. One
of them stands on the east bank and one west bank. It's said that
they are of different gender. Isn't it a pity that they've been
looking at each other for thousands of years, with a creek between
them and that they can't embrace?
However, maybe we can put it more romantic. Gingko trees follow
dioecism. The male tree is tall and upright, the female is graceful
and chubby. This couple is the best witness of people in love and
the longevity of them symbolizes the lasting love between the lovers.
According to the local legend, the two gingko trees are part of
the land of dragon. The two gingko trees are the horns of the dragon,
the Sanbuliangban Bridges are the whiskers, the long dike after
the bridge is the body and the pond in front of the Temple is eyes.
The trees are around 29 meters, with thick trunk, dense leaves and
it takes many people to embrace them close. In 2002, protection
plates were issued to these precious ancient trees by Nanhu People's
Government of Jiaxing and according to an examination, these trees
are over 1240 years old, being the oldest trees in Jiaxing.
Gingko, as the most ancient relic plants in existence, takes over
2 decades from plantation to fruiting. Massive fruiting of gingko
takes place in 40 years. These trees have been surviving for over
1000 years and are once called live fossils.
On the plain at Zhejiang province, it is a rare thing to see ancient
trees like these. The large gingko trees are guarding the Rock Buddha
Temple like two sturdy warriors. These two trees are not only safeguarding
the Temple but the whole Hang-Jia-Hu plain. The height of the trees
is the thickness of the history. They live up to the name of Jiaxing's
cultural totem, with thousands of years of history that benefit
everyone in the world. Therefore, these two trees are also known
as the Kings of Trees on the Plain.