Shibaozhai Temple

Shibaozhai Temple

Shibaozhai Temple perches precariously on a rocky island in the midst of the Yangtze’s flow, the bright red façade of its pagoda immediately spottable as you cruise along.  The pagoda climbs twelve storeys up a cliff face, the pavilion that houses the first nine stories leans against a sheer stone bluff, providing access to a second three storey pavilion that sits on top of the bluff. Originally set high above the Yangtze, the effects of the Three Gorges Dam on the water levels means that Shibaozhai today is now close to the river’s edge. Climbing through the storeys, each of which is decorated with inscriptions of past dynasties, to the top will give you excellent views down over the river and beyond. 

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Shibaozhai Temple Map

Five Facts About Shibaozhai Temple

Shibaozhai means ‘Precious Stone Fortress’.

There are a series of ladders inside the temple that once took visitors to the summit – before these were constructed, visitors who wanted to reach the top had to hoist themselves up paths hewn in the rock with a series of chains.

A three-storied hall also sits on top of the rock bluff – the Purple Rain Pavilion. Dedicated to Manjusri, it was built in the mid-1800s.

The pagoda was built without a single nail!

A legend suggests that the higher you climb up the Shibaozhai pagoda, the more likely your wishes and prayers are to come true.

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