A curious place, Mt. Weiyu. Not higher than 80 m, it was nevertheless a rather commanding elevation rising among the fields, about 45 min on foot outside of the town of Huangyan 黄岩. Today this area is almost in the middle of a new development project (委羽山新区). The grotto, ranked 2nd among the Ten Big Grottoes according to Du Guangting, was only navigable for 15 paces; in the late Qing era, a grave situated right above the Grotto had crashed through and blocked further access into the mountain. The altar (picture 3) was erected in 1982.
Two Taoist monks (Quanzhen branch / Longmen sect) were present: monk Shi (70 y old) and monk Zheng (63 y old). They tended to affairs in the Dayou Temple, and were called upon in cases of illness and for death rites. It is said that in its heyday, Mt. Weiyu and its immediate environment were home to over 300 Taoists. The township of Huangyan itself was home to 6 or 7 female Daoists at the time of my visit.
Deities in the Dayou Temple included Laozi, Yuanshi huangdi 元始皇帝, the Jade Emperor, Lu Dongbin, God of Thunder, Lingbao 靈寶 etc. (rather a fair mix of Daoist worthies from a variety of schools and backgrounds).
Visited Nov. 19-20, 1984. Full written record of visit preserved.
Photographs scanned with Epson scanner 4990 to TIFF, converted to lossless (least compression) JPGs.
Thomas H. Hahn
Ithaca, October 2007
© Thomas H. Hahn Docu-Images