We’ve heard stories about General Guan, one of the most well-known generals in Three Kingdom. He is famous for his bravery in the battlefield, as well as his deep sense of loyalty to Liu Bei, who would eventually become King of Shu.
History recorded that Cao Cao treated General Guan very well and would like to made him a lieutenant general in his own army, but the loyal General Guan refused his offer, and then he was allowed by Cao Cao to rejoin back Liu Bei alive with one condition, which was to kill General Yan Liang who served Yuan Shao (Cao Cao’s rival)
However, General Guan and his son were captured and executed by Wu Kingdom in the battle of Jiangling, then his head was later sent by Sun Quan’s troop to Cao Cao in order to frame him.
After the death of General Guan, he was defied as the God of War, and many temples are built as a form of worship to the deceased General Guan. However, there are three most well-known temples of General Guan that you have to visit while you are in China.
- Guan Lin Temple in Luoyang 关林庙,洛阳
Guan Lin Temple is the most popular General GuanTemple in China, because his head was burried in this very land. The temple CaoCao built was just outside the South Gate of Luoyang City.
After seeing General Guan’s head in the box, Cao Cao collapsed and did not regain his consciousness for some time, and when he was conscious, he claimed “General Guan is truly a god from heaven!” and ordered the head to be buried with honors”.
- Guan Ling Temple in Hubei 关陵庙,湖北
Guan Ling Temple in Hubei is the place where General Guan’s body was burried. It was located around 3km in the northwest of Dangyang County in Hubei Province.
The Temple was built during the East Han Dynasty (25-220) and called “Yiyong Ancestral Hall of Emperor Wu’an”, but then the name changed to Guang Ling after repaired in Jiajing 15th year.
According to history, after General Guan was defeated, Sun Quan took his severed head to Cao Cao in Luoyang, while the body was buried there as the feudal lord.
It was just an earth grave at the beginning, but then time over time, some pavilions were built, gate was added, and then the temple was established in 1467.
- Guan Di Temple in Xiezhou 关帝庙, 解州
Guan Di Temple is in Shanxi’s Xiezhou County. This temple was built because General Guan was born in nearby Changping Village. Xiezhou’s Temple of Guan Yu is located in Xiguan, Xiezhou Township, Yuncheng City of Shanxi Province.
Changping Village 10 miles southeast away from Xiezhou is the birthplace of Guan Yu, and the temple was built in the ninth year of Kaihuang Period during the Sui Dynasty.
The three temples of General Guan are regarded as important General Guan temples because his head, body and soul were remained in each temples.
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