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Fengdu


   Fengdu, on the north bank of the river, was in the past more popularly known as the 'City of Ghosts'. There is a temple here dedicated to the God of Hades. A pilgrim to the temple used to be able to purchase, for the sum of one dollar, a 'Passport to Heaven', stamped by the local magistrate and the abbot. Landmarks in the temple complex bear horrific names--Ghost Torturing Pass, Last Glance at Home Tower, Nothing-to-be-done Bridge. Fengdu's temples display instruments of torture and wild demon images. Shopkeepers kept a basin of water intoYangtze Cruise which customers threw their coins f if they sank they were genuine, but if they floated the coins were ghost money and unacceptable. Boats would moor in midstream rather than by the bank in case of attack by ghosts. It seems that the origin of the town's extraordinary reputation dates back to the Han dynasty (206 BCMD 220) when two officials, Yin and Wang, became Daoist (Taoist) recluses here and eventually Immortals. When combined, their names mean 'King of the Underworld'. Today, however, the town is thronged with tourists attracted by temples and shrines dedicated to the gods of the underworld. There is a ski lift to the original temple complex at Minshan. Otherwise it is a 30-minute hike starting at the Bridge to the Otherworld. This town wtl1 be completely submerged in 2003 but the historical temple located on Min shan will remain accessible.