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According to Chinese legend, the Fengdu Ghost City is a place where the devil lives

David Goran

Located on the Ming Mountain on the northern bank of the Yangtze River, Fengdu Ghost City is a large complex of shirnes, temples, and monasteries, combining the cultures of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism.

A large complex of temples and monasteries. Source

A large complex of temples and monasteries. Source

 

The site's history goes back nearly two thousand years, at least in legends. Source1 Source 2

The site’s history goes back nearly two thousand years, at least in legends. Source1 Source 2

According to legend, Fengdu got its name as the Ghost City in the Eastern Han Dynasty when two imperial officials, Yin Changsheng and Wang Fangping, decided to come to Ming Mountain to practice Taoism teachings and, in the process, became immortals. Combining their two names produces the term “Yinwang” meaning the “King of Hell”. From this definition, some Chinese believe that Fengdu is the place where the devil lives.

It is about 160 kilometars or 100 miles east of Chongqing in the Three Gorges Lake. Source

It is about 160 kilometers or 100 miles east of Chongqing in the Three Gorges Lake. Source

 

It is said that Fengdu got its reputation as a place for dead people during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). Source

It is said that Fengdu got its reputation as a place for dead people during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). Source

The city consists of buildings, structures, dioramas and statues related to Diyu and Naraka (in Sanskrit), the realm of dead or hell in Chinese mythology. It is modeled to resemble Youdu, the capital of Diyu, and it is generally conceived as being similar to a typical Chinese city, but surrounded with darkness. Due to the construction of the 3 Gorges Dam, the ghostly city is underwater. However, a hill and dozens of temples remain.

Where the devil lives. Look at that blue-painted structure. Yep, the devil. He

One of the temples at Fengdu. Source

Most of the popular landmarks in Fengdu have names that reference the afterlife, such as – Nothing-to-be-done-Bridge, Ghost torturing Pass and Last Glance at Home Tower.

Directions sign in front of the city. Source

Directions sign in front of the city. Source

 

Part of Fengdu town square. Source

Part of Fengdu town square. Source

The dead must undergo three tests to enter the dead world. First, they must pass the Bridge of Helplessness or Nothing-to-be-done-Bridge. This stone bridge was built during the Ming Dynasty and is a test for Good and Evil. Virtuous people will pass over the bridge and villainous people will fall in the pools below.

The Bridge of Helplessness. Source

The Bridge of Helplessness. Source

 

Sculptures on the Bridge of Helplessness. Source

Sculptures on the Bridge of Helplessness. Source

Ghost Torturing Pass is the second test where people present themselves for judgment before Yama, the King of Hell, in an area with large sculptures of demons.

The demons. Source

A sculpture of the demons. Source

 

Sculpture of a demon torturing people. Source

Sculpture of a demon torturing people. Source

The third test is at the entrance to Tianzi (Son of Heaven) Palace, the largest and oldest building. People must stand on a stone on one foot for three minutes and if they are not able to do this they are going to hell.

The Ghost King sculpture. Source

The Ghost King sculpture. Source

The biggest sculpture in Fengdu is “The Ghost King” and it holds a Guinness World Records title as the biggest rock carved sculpture that can be seen from all around the city.