3 September 2017

The Fire and Water Spring in Guanziling

And again we travel around mountains. This time we came to Tainan to see Fire and Water Spring (水火同源) in Guanziling Scenic Area. Guanziling is located between hills and mountains range. Geothermal activity here produces unique Hot Springs, which ore the only mud hot springs in Taiwan. The temperature of those springs is 75 degree. These springs are effective for treating skin allergies, exhaustion, gastrointestinal problems, rheumatism and arthretis.

fire and water spring guanziling beihe tainan taiwan

The Fire and Water Spring

Natural gas coming out the water cause the flame. The Liuchong River passes here allowing underground gas to ascend through rocks.
The fire was first discovered in 1701 by a Fujianese monk from Daxian Temple and is still maintained. Before the Baihe earthquake in 1964 the fire was stronger. After earthquake the fire spread out from several pores and became weak.
During Japanese era villagers engraved a statue of God named Shuihuo for worship.

Legends about Fire and Water Spring:

First one talks about male named Kirin that lived here. The fire and water cave was his head and his tail was laid in Hongye Tunnel. The hot spring water was his urine. 
Kirin liked entertaining people by torching the fire.

Another one is about two dragons. The fire dragon and the water dragon had disagreement and started fight. Both dragons were defeated. The fire dragon became fire and the water dragon became water creating this unique landscape.

fire and water spring guanziling beihe tainan taiwan

Daxian Temple 

On the way we also stop by Daxian Temple (白河大仙寺). You can also see there two spiritual pagodas for people to worship ancestors and a park. 
Daxian Temple has over 300 years of history and it's one of 100 Religious Scenes of Taiwan. It's an iconic example of sino-japanese architecture that inspired new style of Buddhist temples.

There are two sayings about the origin of Daxian Temple. The first one says, that the temple was founded in 1701. It is said that the temple was founded by Zen master from Fujian, that worshipped a Guanyin Bodhisattva. When he came to Baihe, he temporarily held the Bodhisattva statue. Hu put it on a stone, and then went to other places. After back he found out, that the Bodhisattva seems to be stuck on it and can't move away. The Zen master thought, that Bodhisattva intends to bring people to here, and that was the beginning of Daxian Temple.
The second statement says, that the temple was built in 1719. According to legend, in the Ming Dynasty (1666), the Zen master was invited by Chen Yonghua to come to Taiwan to speak about Dharma. He stationed in the Chishan Longhuyan Temple. In 1701, passing through Guanziling, he decided to settle down. In 1719, a Guanyin Bodhisattva was brought in from Longhuyan. Because the Zen master was deeply respected, the temple was built here.

fire and water spring guanziling beihe tainan taiwan daxian temple

During Japanese occupation (1895, the temple was used as a base and later abandoned. After 1915, people finally raised funds for reconstruction. In 1930, the temple collapsed during an earthquake. Soon the funds was raised to rebuilt the temple. In 1931, the Biyun Temple which was part of Daxian Temple became independent.

Daxian Tempe also raised funds to build Guanyin Temple in 1948-1950, although during an earthquake in 1964, the temple together with Daxian Hall was destroyed. The reconstruction was completed in 1985.

fire and water spring guanziling beihe tainan taiwan daxian temple

fire and water spring guanziling beihe tainan taiwan daxian temple

1. Fire and Water Spring, Baihe District, Tainan City, 732
2. 732, Tainan City, Baihe District, 仙草里岩前1號白河大仙寺

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