Don’t miss: Hainan’s 800-year-old Meilang Twin Pagodas

By Chen Shumin / hiHainan / Updated: 16:21,09-June-2021

Meilang Village, 10 kilometers away from Meiting Town in Chengmai County, Hainan Province, features volcanic stone houses and many large, ancient banyan trees.

Situated on the southeastern side of the village, the Twin Pagodas were built around 800 years ago and now are the most complete ancient pagodas of the Yuan Dynasty known in Hainan.

Government records from the Ming Dynasty state that the pagodas were built by a local official named Chen Daoxu in memory of his two daughters, Chen Lingzhao and Chen Shanzhang, who both were devout Buddhists. Thus the Twin Pagodas are also popularly known as the Sister Pagodas.

The pagodas originally stood in front of the Jirui Nunnery, where Chen Shanzhang resided as a nun. As time went by, the Jirui Nunnery fell into ruin. The pagodas met a happier fate, however, and were named by the State Council as a national protected key cultural relic in 1996.

The two pagodas, standing just 20 meters apart, are renowned for their elaborate stone carvings and exquisite stonework. The main bodies of the pagodas were built of basalt from northern Hainan’s volcanic region, and put together using mortise and tenon joints, which means that the stones overlap snugly and do not require any mortar or other binding agents.

There is a local legend that the two sisters had a magical coconut cornucopia, which always overflowed with rice, gold and silver. According to the legend, the two sisters often distributed the bounty of their magical coconut to their less well-off neighbors. How generous!

Surrounded by lush, tropical trees, stands of vibrant green bamboo, and sparkling clear spring water, the environment around the two pagodas is so quiet and peaceful that visitors feel as if they have stepped hundreds of years into the past, where they can enjoy many wonders of nature as they marvel at the beauty of these elegant, historic structures.

The video and photos in this article were provided by “Aerial Hainan (海南号@航拍海南)”.

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