Mar 16, 2021
1 mins read
On my quest of visiting ancient historical villages in southern China, I sometimes spent several hours on a bus and then hitch-hiked a ride on a motorcycle … and sometimes I ended up in an abandoned eerie-looking place like this one.
Not really what I expected from a village that was founded in the Song dynasty on the border with Guangdong and Hunan.
In spite of its advanced state of abandonment, this village had a few interesting stories to tell.
When I entered into an abandoned centuries-old temple, I realized that this village was a scaffolding of layered histories.
An impressive stone gate and a path into an ancient temple. Overgrown sub-tropical vegetation and the scorching heat of southern Chinese summer.
Nothing remains of the temple, except the structure itself. A structure that has withered time for centuries. Inside the temple itself, I noticed red Chinese characters painted on a white wall. They were slogans dating back from the "Great Leap Forward" era (end of the 1950s) when Mao's China's goal was aiming towards fast industrialization of the country. The temple was obviously transformed into a production unit.
The "Great Leap Forward" (大跳进) was a disaster which contributed to China's Great Famine of the early 1960s and indirectly to the Cultural Revolution that wrought havoc in China between 1966 and 1976.
Now this temple, with its impressive gates still decorated with beautiful rock carvings and calligraphy is the silent witness of China's rich and complicated history.