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Confucius thought still flowering

By Chitralekha Basu (China Daily)

08:57, May 11, 2012

Standing amid the riot of flowers in the Forest of Steles, one may get a sense of the idea of harmony Confucius talked about. [Photo/China Daily]

At the Confucius Temple complex in Qufu, Chitralekha Basu found herself surrounded by more than just historical charm.

We are in Confucius (551-479 BC) country, walking around the Confucius Temple complex dedicated to the man, whose influence over Chinese thought and lifestyle practices has been sustained over the last 2,500 years.

Yet this massive monument to wisdom and scholarship in Qufu, Shandong province -sprawled out over 16,000 square meters and second in terms of scale only to the Forbidden City in Beijing whose model it emulates - moves me not so much because of what it is, but rather what it grows.

Tall coniferous trees line up on both sides of the approach road to the fortress-like entrance, leading to Linxing Gate. Long and thin stems of weeping willows, glittering under the mid-day sun like tinsel, bend over the moat around the wall to touch the rippling waters beneath.

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