Tuesday, January 03, 2017

the journey from Yuankui Pagoda - 元魁塔

Completed in 1619,  towards the end of the Ming Dynasty it was a landmark for the migrants from this region of the Hakka heartland on  their treacherous journey to Nanyang in mid-19th to the  20th century.
The pagoda is located at about 3.5km from Songkou 松口on the middle reaches of Mei Jiang 梅江.
Centuries earlier the pagoda could have guided the  Ming princes and their courtiers as they escaped south from the Manchus. Legend had it that the Shide Mansion 世德堂 in Tongpa village 铜琶村 about 1.2km, was purposefully build to host the fleeing court.

As the Meijiang flows down the mountains towards the lower reaches, another pagoda came into view.
The Pheonix Pagoda 凤凰塔 is located in Chaozhou  潮州. It was build thirty odd years earlier in 1585. This section of the river is named Hanjiang, 韩江.
It was named in honor of  Han Yu 韩愈 the Tang Dynasty official and great poet who was banished to Chaozhou, because he was against the ceremony of the Emperor receiving the Buddha's tooth relic.  In the 8 months that he was there, he did much to improve education, agriculture, pacify the crocodiles threating the local folks and free slavery.
He left his indelible mark in the city, woods and rivers, that continued to flourish to this day 1,350years later.