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 Welcome to Introduction on Liuhe Pagoda (Six Harmonies Pagoda) in Seeraa International, New and Updated Content as Below:

The overall sight of Liuhe Pagoda
The Scene of Liuhe Pagoda

Boasting the Southeast Buddhist State of China, Hangzhou deserves this commendation out of question just in the aspect of its huge number of Buddhist pagodas, some famous and some unknown. Other than the enormously notable Leifeng Pagoda, thought of as an honorable monk, and Baochu Pagoda, considered to be a slender beauty, Liuhe Pagoda is absolutely not inferior to either of them. In some way, Liuhe Pagoda erects its own unsurpassable enchantment and reputation in Buddhism and cultural circle of China. It is exactly in unison with the honor of Hangzhou. Unquestionably, Liuhe Pagoda should be detailedly and systematically introduced to anyone taking a reading in Seeraa International.

If we say approximately that Liuhe Pagoda is located on the southern side of West Lake Scenic Area, and close to this famous site nationwide, even worldwide, it will be a joke or nonsense. Why? Travelers who have been to Hangzhou certainly know majority of representative scenic spots or cultural sites of Hangzhou are densely situated around West Lake, which naturally include this relatively famous Pagoda titled Six Harmonies. However, if we portray specifically that Liuhe Pagoda is the neighbor of Qiantang River, it will be the true. In fact, Liuhe Pagoda is opposite to Qiantang River, and between both, it is a wide highway but not so hustle and bustle as others closer to West Lake. More should be mentioned is that near to Liuhe Pagoda, a branch of Zhejiang University, officially named Zhijiang Campus of Zhejiang University playing the part of center of Law and other secret importance. What is more, through climbing over a wild hill at the back of this campus, travelers can directly enter the scenic zone of Liuhe Pagoda free of charge. Ok, it is a secret actually, but I am willing to sharing with people who plan to visit this area, but if you want to get a free visit, the first trouble you face will be how to get through the check of campus guard. Good Luck!

The Name Origin of Liuhe Pagoda and Reason for Construction

The Old Picture of Liuhe Pagoda
The Old Picture of Liuhe Pagoda
was said to be taken by an American

Liuhe Pagoda in Chinese is"六和塔", but many people also write it into"六合塔", Same prounociation in utterance but far different in meaning. The former translated into English is Six Harmonies, while the latter is Six Points. Furthermore, the different meanings of both are derived from different religious theories. Six Harmonies is from a famous sutra of Buddhism, named Ben Ye Ying Luo Jing(本业璎珞经), and a chapter is themed with Liu He Jing(Six Harmonies Respect, 六和敬), in which a word is highlighted with the interpretation of the title that: the harmony of bodies makes live together; the harmony of mouths eliminates quarrel; the harmony of competition brings the shared pleasure; the harmony of refrainment makes cultivation together come true; the harmony of viewpoints leads to the joint understanding; the harmony of interests brings the evenness. Six Points is originated dependably from Taoism, comprising Heaven, Earth, East, North, South and West, also someone supposes it is quoted from Jin Shu(晋书),the fifth state-compiled history among China's 24 official histories, and the original means The harmony of six Qi(气) would not give birth to disease and frustration, which literally owns the meaning of praying for harvest and peace via cultivating the morals. Actually, both of them are no exception to embodying the kind expectation for happiness and peace. If you really want to probe into who is closer to the truth, it will be overdone and meaningless, isn’t it?

Six Harmonies Pagoda has a long history, historically, it was built in 971 with over 1000 years of history.The reason for constructing Liuhe Pagoda is quite extraordinary, and it is not simply built for the sake of Buddhism but for putting down the barbaric wave of Qiantang River in accordance to some local historical records like Record of Xianchun Linan. Something special mentioned in book that Monk Yanshou, a late master and leader of Lingyin Temple, built this pagoda in line with its location in order to calm down the over-crazy wave, and this pagoda had nine stories and preserved a She Li(舍利,the most important treasure of Buddhism apart from sutras).

The Old Picture of Liuhe Pagoda
Image of Wu Zixu

Perhaps someone may ask why the wave of Qiantang River is so despotic. The reason is fairly associated with the history of Wu State and Yue State in Spring and Autumn Period. Wu Zixu(伍子胥), the authoritative marshal of Wu State prevailed on King Fu Chai(夫差) not making peace with Yue State after getting the final victory in the battle between Wu and Yue States, but some wicked men's speaking ill of Wu Zixu together with the seeming compliance and deference of Yue State made Fu Chai in complacence and arrogance, in contrast, he began to suspect the loyalty of Wu Zixu due to a series of annoying and disrespected words and alarms from Wu Zixu. Eventually, Wu Zixu was executed and thrown into Qiantang River, but before the execution, Wu Zixu declared his eternal will of hanging eyes on the wall of town to see the overthrow of Wu State, and his body was covered with cloth and floated on Qiantang River and became the wave of anger and hatred. This is the side of Wu State. On the other hand, Official Wenzhong(文种) of Yue State donated six great solutions to helping King Gou Jian(勾践) overthrowing Wu State, but unfortunately, he was envied and suspected by King Gou Jian due to his unbelievable talents, and finally he was murdered as well in the excuse of unfounded cases. And Wenzhong's tomb was moved by wave of Zixu on a raning night. Since then, the waves of Qiantang River turned more and more dangerous and threatened the daily life of local residents. The local people said there were two waves each time, the front is Wave of Zixu, which is stout and full of valour, and the rear is Wave of Wenzhong, which is soft but dangerous.

Surely, this is the more believable legend written in some famous books like The Record of the Grand Historian and Spring and Autumn of Wu and Yue States. But in folk society, there is also another influential legend, which is themed with Six Harmonies Calm the River down. Anciently, a bad-tempered dragon king, used to be the guards of Buddha and bodhisattvas, lived under the Qiantang River and he always made many unreasonable and unexpected waves, which caused the overturning of fishing boats and submerged the farmlands. The residents nearby could not bear it at all. Under such circumstances, a fisherman's son named Liuhe made up a mind to fill the river with rocks and stones just as Jingwei's behavior to sea (精卫填海,a classic fairy tale in Chinese literature) so as to preclude the harms of Dragon King. Liuhe spent 49 days throwing the rocks and stones into river, and it eventually subdued the King of Dragon, so the descendant built a pagoda named after Liuhe in memory of the contribution of Liuhe to local people.

The overall sight of Liuhe Pagoda
The Picturesque Scene of Liuhe Pagoda

It was said that the construction of Liuhe Pagoda eased successfully the wave, and the whole river became mild. Additionally, in the past, Liuhe Pagoda also had the role of lighthouse for boats or ships on the river.

The History of Liuhe Pagoda (Six Harmonies Pagoda)

Exactly, Liuhe Pagoda is built on Yuelun Peak(月轮峰),during the time from 976 to 978, it was located in Kaihua Temple, which formerly was a donated private garden of Qian Chu, the king of Wuyue Kingdom, to Buddhism. Primitively, the pagoda had nine stories, and the top part was equipped with a huge light for guiding the boats and ships on the river. Unfortunately, the whole pagoda was thoroughly burnt down in 1121and in 1152 restored under the solicitude of Emperor Gaozong, the first emperor of Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279), when he saw the damage of river waves to the banks, farmlands and residential houses. At the time, Monk Zhitan(智昙) threw himself into the breach and took charge of the reconstruction assignment from Emperor. He even assured that he would not expend a tiny penny of government. He took out all treaures he had and paintakingly walked to many areas for donations. Moved by his exertions and perseverance, many Buddhist pilgrims, local authorities and wealthy men show their support in various ways. The whole project under the non-governmental financial support lasted roughly 10 years. In 1163, the new pagoda comprised of seven floors was completed. Though the scale was compressed or shortened in size compared to the original, it still looked magnificent, stout and exquisite equivalently. It was actually superior among pagodas. Meanwhile, it was imperially called Ci En Kaihua Temple in 1164. By the way, the whole temple was built centered on this pagoda, so it was also called Liuhe Temple. Also, due to its locating on Yuelun Hill, so it was called Yuelun Temple as well, and the first governor of temple was Zhitan. The fundamental architectural style of temple was characterized of the early temple building features of China---Pagoda was built in advance and then the whole temple.

Liuhe Pagoda
Liuhe Pagoda

Amid Yuan Dynasty (1333-1335), the ruined pagoda for long-term un-conservation was carefully rebuilt. In 1533, owing to the severe destruction of short-stature Japanese intruders, the whole temple and pagoda were both broken seriously, which had the similar fate to Leifeng Pagoda. Luckily, during the reign of Emperor Wanli of Ming Dynasty from 1573 to 1620, Zhu Hong, the eminent monk of Buddhist Pure-Land Branch operated the large-scale reconstruction of Liuhe Pagoda. In 1735, under the support of Emperor Yongzheng, Li Wei, the governor of Zhejiang province made a large rebuilding again, which lasted two years.

In 1751, Emperor Qianlong visited Hangzhou for several times, two of which were specially for visiting Liuhe Pagoda, besides, he also wrote some relevant poems and lyrics to give perpetual approbation on its splendour and beauty as well as the landscape of surroundings. Indeed, this talented emperor was really captivated by the unique scene. For expressing his rapture of heart, he rewrote a prose themed with visiting to Liuhe Pagoda. Furthermore, he also inscribed four Chinese Characters"净宇江天" on the Paifang building in front of pagoda, and he also presented seven tablets for seven floors of Liuhe Pagoda based on the knowledge of Buddhism. The first-floor tablet is Solidity of Ground Floor(初地坚固), which holds the Statue of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, also called Earth Store Bodhisattva, in front, and God Statue of Beiji Zhenwu carved in Ming Dynasty at rear; The second-floor tablet is Oneness of Two Truths(二谛俱融), which holds the Statue of Dragon King of East Sea; the third-floor tablet is Pure Land of Three Brightenings(三明净域), which holds the statues of Kwan-yin and others; the fourth-floor tablet is Treasured Outlines of Four Heavens, which holds the statue of Monk Lu Zhishen(鲁智深), a famous figure in Water Margin, one of Top Four Classic Novels of ancient China, and finally passed away in Liuhe Pagoda, the fifth-floor tablet is Five Clouds upwards Holiness(五云扶盖), which holds the statue of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva; the sixth-floor tablet is Six Divine Turtles Bear Dai Mountain(六鳌负戴) and the seventh-floor tablet is Sublimity of Seven Treasures(七宝庄严). During this time, Kaihua Temple was at its golden times.

Up to the late period of Qing Dynasty, Liuhe Pagoda was gradually ruined, and the exterior wooden structure was entirely broken, and such decadence lasted roughly 50 years. In 1899, Zhu Zhi(朱智), a native of Hangzhou donated much to build the banks of Qiantang River and spent the rest restoring Liuhe Pagoda, and he also organized many people to add the exterior wooden structure to the body of Pagoda. This project was quite immense and lasted for many years. In 1961, Liuhe Pagoda ws written into the List of National Key Cultural Sites by State Council of New China. Liuhe Pagoda got several large reconstructions, and the largest one is in 1986. Experts spent 5 years in fixing the scheme of restoration, and the whole reconstructing project was kicked off officially in 1991. Today's Liuhe Pagoda was the efficacy of this largest reconstruction.

Stories and Attractions of Liuhe Pagoda

Monk Lu Zhishen
The Image of Monk Lu Zhishen

Legendarily, after deferring to the government, the heroes of Liangshanpo(梁山泊), who Water Margin, a famous classic novel mentioned above, gives a highlighted portraying, Song Jiang(宋江) stationed the troops outside of Liuhe Pagoda. Monk Lu Zhishen and Monk Wusong(武松,a well-known hero killing a tiger in arm) suddenly heard the thundering sound above Qiantang River. Monk Lu Zhishen was born in northern China and never heard of the Wave of Qiantang River and mistook it to be the sound of warring drums. He leaped up and wanted to join in the war, but the temple monks told him the sound was the signal of wave of Qiantang River. At this time, Lu Zhishen reminded himself of the word of his master: It is time of passing away as hearing the signal of wave. He deeply believed this is the foreordination, and he died at Liuhe Pagoda. In April, 1936, Under Liuhe Pagoda, a collective wedding ceremony of movie stars was held, which was operated by Shen Junru(沈钧儒), a famous democratic figure. The brides included Lan Ping(Jiang Qing actually), Ye Luxi and Du Xiaojuan, and the bridegrooms were Tang Na, Zhaodan and Gu Eryi.

Liuhe Pagoda traditionally is the perfect place to appreciate the astonishing scene of Qiangtang Waves. The tide of Qiantang River is the great show of nature and boasts the Miracle of World. Nearly every day, we can appreciate its grandness, but the best time is the time of Mid-Autumn Festival. As early as Southern Song, Liuhe Pagoda was the famous site to enjoy the beauty of Qiantang Tide. Recently, Appreciating the Tide and Climbing the Pagoda have been a new highlights of Liuhe Pagoda Traveling.

Liuhe Pagoda is a famous scenic spot of Hangzhou and has been listed into Thirty Scenes of West Lake in 2007. Innumerous poets, artisits and scholars left their approbations and amazements over here. There is a famous comment about the pagodas of Hangzhou like this: Baochu Pagoda is a beauty; Leifeng Pagoda is an old monk; Liuhe Pagoda is a general. Through the window of Liuhe Pagoda, visitors can directly see the vast Qiantang River and the huge Qiantang River Bridge. The height of Liuhe Pagoda is nearly 60 meters, and exteriorly seen, it is comprised of 13 floors, and actually seven. In pagoda, except for the inscriptions of Buddhist Sutra named Forty-Two Chapters Sutra, there are also hundreds of brick-carvings, and the themes are various and life-like. Such as the megranate, lotus, flying phoenix, peacocks, parrots, leaping lions and kylins(a kind imaginary holy creature in Chinese fairy tales) and many flying fairies. They are all valuable in Chinese Ancient Architectural History. Surely, there are a multitude of important and rarely-seen cultural relics and sites in Pagoda, what mentioned above is just some of them and also belongs to the inferior. It is best to have a visit. In 1990s, a newly-added site named China Ancient Pagodas Displaying Garden has been opened, in which nearly all the small-sized imitations of famous pagodas of China can be available.