pahavit (pahavit) wrote,

Pulgas Water Temple

Pulgas Water Temple

On New Year's Eve Day, D. and I went to the Pulgas Water Temple in Woodside, and we each took some pics. First, here's mine.

The Bay Area lacks sufficient groundwater and other local resources to support its large population, so water must be imported from other areas, via the Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct.

The temple is located on top of the terminus of the Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct, which brings fresh water 167 miles from the Sierra Nevada and Yosemite National Park to the San Francisco Peninsula.

Controlling access to fresh water is critical to California's economic survival.

A temple is appropriate for honoring the state's most precious natural resource, don't you think?

Looking up through the center of the structure.

A decorative detail along the top.

"I give waters in the wilderness and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people."  Isaiah 43:20

Water flows beneath the temple and out the west side into a sluice that takes it into Crystal Springs Reservoir.

This is the second water temple on this site, built in 1938.  I don't know what the original one looked like.

A lion's head guards the top of the temple.

A reflecting pool lies on the temple's east side.

From varying angles, the temple plays hide and seek among the trees.

On the edge of the woods near the temple, leafless Lombardy poplars rake a sky full of gathering clouds.

❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧  ❧

D. took the following pics:

The name "Hetch Hetchy" comes from the Native American Sierra Miwok term for a grass with edible seeds that grew in the valley now flooded by the reservoir that feeds the aqueduct.

The official Hetch Hetchy Water System 70th Anniversary commemorative plaque, on a boulder near the temple.

The capital of one of the corinthian columns; very ornate, with its scrolls and acanthus leaves.

A plaque bearing the inscription from Isaiah.  It is also inscribed around the top of the temple.

The sluice bearing the water over to Crystal Springs Reservoir, which can hold 57,910 acre-feet.


A black phoebe perches by the reflecting pool, waiting for insects.

The live oaks surrounding the water temple all have bumper crops of mushrooms sprouting up from among their roots.

OK, so now we've learned about the water temple.  But what's "pulgas"?  It's the Spanish word for "fleas."  Guess what plagued the early Spanish explorers in this area? 

Tags: field trip, hetch hetchy, water temple

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