|Peaches ripening by West Lake|
|Sculpture of the legend|
There was a legend about this good king's birth illustrated by a sculpture in one of the courtyards. When he was born in the year 852 a red light flashed in the sky and his parents, local peasants, were frightened by "the sounds of troops and horses"-- a thunderstorm, I daresay, but the baby's father took it to be an ill omen and decided to throw his newborn son down a well. An old woman, Po Liu, prevented him from doing this. The Poliu well is still there, by the way. The child grew up as a seller of salt, but at the age of 20, upset by the riots flaring up at the end of the Tang Dynasty, he joined the army. He made his way up through the ranks of the military and finally became king of the 13 cantons of Wu Yue prefecture in the year 923. He was the first ruler to have walls built around the city of Hangzhou and encouraged peaceful pursuits among his subjects, weaving, agriculture. He also built an extensive dyke along the Qiantang River to counteract the tidal bore that still happens regularly (like the Severn bore in Britain).
|Inside the temple|
- Don't be arrogant.
- Don't be extravagant.
|Stele at the temple, inscribed with the good king's history|
|Entrance to Orioles Singing in the Willows|