Tongren: Town and Temple
Tongren (pop 257,000)
September 9, 2016
The Longwu Tibetan Temple and Monastery is the main site in Tongren. I saw very little of it. In fact, I almost missed it.
I stroll from my hotel towards the Temple along the main street but as usual, I am seduced by shops and shopkeepers and the local population at work or at leisure.
Just across the street from the temple in Regong Culture Square stands the 9m high (30 ft) “kindly and solemn” Dumu Ikon. I linger and relax. The inscription at the base of the statue reads, “The Dumu is determined to help people all over the world to be safe and to live a happy life.”
Pilgrims circle the Dumu three times. Now more than ever, we wish for safety and happiness.
Finally, I enter the grounds of the Monastery. I didn’t get very far. Once again, I am satisfied to simply enjoy the company of pilgrims and priests and local visitors with their children in tow.
One spot I do not miss is the evening food market. After a brief observation of its preparation, I am seduced by a huge "hand-crafted" sandwich.