An article about the mysterious Nara and ancient Buddhist temples of Japan.15.04.2018 13:05
Nara is a quiet, cozy and peaceful Japanese city unfairly shaded by the glory and grandeur of its famous "neighbor" Kyoto. But time and misfortune spared the former capital of the land of the Rising Sun, which made Nara more attractive in terms of tourism than the urbanized Kyoto.
Todai-JI temple in Nara
And its 1300th anniversary of the city was celebrated on a Grand scale, revealing the secrets of the world's largest wooden pagoda, introducing the cute "Bambi", who consider themselves the rightful owners of the temple areas in the Nara Park, and demonstrating untold wealth – 525 well-preserved ancient temples, eight of which are UNESCO world heritage sites. So in a moment from an ordinary provincial town of Nara has become a tourist Mecca and to the pilgrims who dream to offer prayers at the largest in the land of the Buddha Vairocana, and for ordinary travelers who want to get acquainted with ancient Eastern culture.
Todai-JI temple and Big Buddha: the feat in the name of saving Japan
The most titled Shrine of Nara is Todai-JI. In its Arsenal, the status of the largest wooden buildings in the world, although the "Great Eastern temple" and has not reached our days in its original form. But the Japanese Chronicles kept the name of the architect who led the construction of Todai-JI, he was a talented Japanese architect Kuninaka-no-Muraji Kimimaro. Scientists were able to find the remains of the project, so according to their verdict, the modern building is most close to the original. Todai-JI also became the record holder for the number of people who took part in its construction.
VIII century is considered to be one of the most difficult periods in Japanese history: the country was torn by internecine wars and leaning on it epidemics and disasters. Then the Emperor issued a decree in Which he asked all people to join the construction of the temple dedicated to Buddha. At the request of the ruler responded to more than 2.5 million ordinary Japanese, who for two years made a real miracle: built a majestic temple complex.
The third highlight is Todai-JI temple is the magnificent statue of the Buddha Vairocana, which impresses with its huge size. Bronze deity sitting on the throne in the form of a Lotus, rises to 22 meters (only the Buddha's ears are much higher than the height of a person, because they have a height of 2.5 meters). The weight of the statue is more than 500 tons, so how the Japanese managed to install the sacred statue is still a mystery. We only know that the attempt was successful only from the eighth time. The construction of the complex almost completely devastated the Treasury of the land of the Rising Sun, and the creation of the statue used the entire supply of bronze in Japan. But people like the Emperor, wished that misfortune has finally stopped, so were ready for any sacrifice, many even put it on the altar of their lives.
Among the most notable shrines of Nara can also be noted:
- Kofuku-JI temple, famous for its Golden pavilions and five-tier goju-no-to pagoda;
Temple of Kofuku-JI
- Shinto Shrine Kasuga Taisha, which is one of the most important holidays of the country of the Kasuga-Matsuri and the ceremony of lighting lanterns Tugan-Montoro Matsuri;
- Shin-Yakushi-JI temple, famous for its sculptural triad of Yakushi, which includes medicine Buddha, Chandraprabha and Suryaprabha;
"the monastery of the autumn bamboo" Akishino-Dera temple, where people come to walk through the Main Hall and see a unique statue of the deity Gigaton;
- temple, Gangō-JI temple, which from its former greatness retained only a few buildings; the main of which hall Sakuraba;
- Tasadi-JI temple, famous for its statues of the founder of the temple Ganjina and deities Buddha Rosana and thousand armed Kannon.
Another lucky winner of the place in the cherished list of world heritage was the Imperial Palace of Heijo, which is considered a historical monument of ancient Nara.
Naru is also hard to imagine without deer. According to legend, the mythical Emperor Jimmu after descended from heaven, first visited Naru. He came on a sacred deer, so all the "Bambi" that roam the temples Todai-JI, Kofuku-JI and Kasuga-Taisya, as well as the Park of the city, are considered descendants of the Imperial deer. Their status is equal to that of cows in India. Deer officially ceased to be divine messengers after the Second world war, but they are still considered a symbol of the city and a national treasure. These peace-loving animals are so used to people that are happy to take food from their hands. Especially "Bambi" crispy like a cracker sica-senbei, which is sold everywhere. And if you hear in the Park the familiar sixth Symphony by Beethoven, you know-deer are called for lunch.
Nara for 13 centuries has a special magical charm that attracts more and more pilgrims and curious travelers to this town.