Taroko Eternal Spring Changchun Shrine 太魯閣長春祠
Built to commemorate and celebrate the lives of those who built the Central Cross-Island Highway through Taroko National Park close to the east entrance, the picturesque Eternal Spring Changchun Shrine is a beautiful temple sitting on top of a natural spring gushing out of the rocks into a waterfall.
Due to the power of the Liwu River running over a fragile combination of green schist, thin marble, and quartz located over a fault, there is a constant erosive force on the rocks. Cracks in the rocks allow for natural spring water to flow through, and while typhoons and rainfall greatly increase the amount of water causing it to gush through the rocks, minimal or no rainfall does not cause the stream to stop, with the stream of water below the shrine bearing the name “Eternal Spring”.
The construction of the highway PH8 was a very labour-intensive process, requiring more than 5,000 workers daily to bore through rock with explosives and hand tools to construct the 192KM long road network from Taroko to Dongshi in Taichung (台中東勢), ultimately taking 3 years and 9 months to fully construct. The workers were primarily KMT soldier veterans, of which 226 died in work-related incidents. Their dedication of blood, sweat, and tears is honoured in this shrine.
Completed in 1957, the shrine has been reconstructed twice due to landslides in the area, with the most recent reconstruction completed in 1989 to the left of the original site.
While the shrine and spring are visible from the main road, the shrine is located 300M away from the main road by following the Changchun Trail (長春祠步道). The entrance to the trail is located at the base of the Old Changchun Bridge (舊長春橋), and is a very steep walk cut into the mountainside. This hiking type trail requires a moderate level of fitness ability.
The major stops along the trail include the Changchun Shrine (長春祠), Guanyin Cave (觀音洞), Taroko Tower (太魯閣樓), hill-top Bell Tower (鐘樓) and “stairway to heaven", suspension bridge, and Changuang Temple (禪光寺), looping back to PH8. The trail takes around 1 hour to complete with a distance of 2,030M.
Changchun Shrine is located inside Taroko National Park.