Three Pools Mirroring the Moon

1728[1]These three small stupas built out on West Lake are an important image of the lake, appearing on both the RMB 1 bill and Qing Emperor Kangxi’s Top Ten Scenic Spots of West Lake as Three Pools Reflecting the Moon (Sāntán Yìnyuè, 三潭印月). Also translated as Three Ponds Reflecting the Moon, Three Ponds Mirroring the Moon and Three Pools Reflecting the Moon, candles are sometimes placed in the hollow stupas.
The predecessors of today’s stupas were built on the lake as boundary markers by 11th century poet-official Su Shi but were destroyed on the orders of a city official in the 15th century along with an associated Buddhist monastery accused of becoming corrupt.


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