December 24, 2013

Nara : Nigatsu-do and Sangatsu-do of Todai-ji

Continuation from here...

Todai-ji's grounds are large, covering most of the northern part of Nara Park.

After I was done with Daibutsuden, I just walked around the park until I reached the hill of Mount Wakakusa.

Todai-ji's great bell

not sure what is this

There are a number of buildings on the hills, which includes Sangatsu-do and Nigatsu-do. Both are designated as National Treasures.

Sangatsu-do is the oldest structure within the Todai-ji complex. I wasn't sure if the hall was opened to visitors cos all the doors and windows were closed.

Next to it is the Nigatsu-do, a sub temple within Todai-ji.

chozu-ya at Nigatsu-do

 the hall

The balcony provides a breath-taking view across the valley towards Nara city. But the city's too far away so I just concentrated on the roofs instead. haha.. Spot Daibutsuden's roof.

It was unfortunate I couldn't stay there till evening. One of the staffs told me there's an event, Omizutori, to be held at the temple that night. The event is held annually from March 1 to 14, to usher in the spring of the new year.

 the giant torches
When the huge temple bell started ringing at 7 pm, the crowd could see giant torches, made by wrapping the tip of the bamboos with cedar leaves, being ignited and are carried up to the balcony. The torches will then be flourished over the crowd below, allowing the sparks pouring over them. It is believed that if you are showered with these fire sparks, you will be protected from evil things.
Sounds like an interesting event. Too bad.. if only I knew about the event earlier. 
Mental note to self : I shall overnight in Nara if I ever visit the city again during that period.

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