Tusita Temple or Dou Shuai Tian Gong in Chinese is a temple in Keqiao, Shaoxing City, Zhejiang China. “Dou” means old combat armor, “Shuai” means to command, and “Tian Gong” means the temple in heaven. When my friends told me that we were going on a hike, this was not at all what I expected. I expected trails and walking on grass and soil. Instead, there were smooth roads and cement stairs. This was definitely a one of a kind experience because the temple at the top was simply breathtaking.
Remember that it is a very long walk that involves a lot of stairs. If you have knee problems, I recommend that you take the bus to the top, although it is not as scenic. It took us half a day to get to the top and to get back down through walking. The hike to the top was very relaxing and peaceful. The place is very well-preserved with butterflies, plenty of shade, cool air, and lots of bamboo.
There were a lot of places to rest and interesting stories and proverbs and myths could be found at every corner. They also had very cold and refreshing water from the mountains flowing down to several parts of the route.
Despite the temple being so high up, plenty of elderly people walk up everyday at 5 am in the morning just to pray at the temple. Their dedication amazes me because it is not exactly an easy trip. However, after experiencing it myself, I don’t think I would mind repeating the trip around once a week.
Although it is a very long walk, there is so much to see! With lakes along the route and other temples that you could visit as well, the hike up does not get boring. The aura of the entire place just radiates peace and harmony. I felt very one with nature and I felt so relaxed and at peace with myself after the trip.
Their architectural structures are so amazing and I can’t fathom how they were able to build all this in such a short period of time. I was also given further understanding of their culture because they had several statues and old proverbs surrounding the place. It was so apparent in all their proverbs that they value their elders very much. They talked about how sacrifice is the best way to show your love to your parents. Once you reach the statues, the temple is pretty close by, around fifteen more flights of stairs.
After finally reaching the top, it was breathtaking. Surprise surprise though, to get to the temple, more stairs! Kidding aside though, I personally felt as if the scenes along the walk were already made the trip worth it, however when we finally reached the temple, I was speechless. The view was absolutely fantastic and there were even more stories to be told here. We were able to witness the locals worshipping, praying, and honoring their dead.
This is definitely a place you should visit if ever you are in Shaoxing City. When I go back to China, I am definitely braving the hundreds of flights of stairs to see this place again. Seeing everyone’s dedication to maintain the serenity and sanctity of the place was awe-inspiring. It really felt like a stairway to heaven in the sense that it lead me to peace and serenity. It was a way to let go of all my burdens and just breathe in positivity. Even now in the Philippines, I feel as if I brought home a piece of peace from this place.