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Home >> China City Guide >> Anhui Province >> Huangshan >> Mt Jiuhuashan, Jiuhuashan Mountain

Mount Jiuhua


Mount Jiuhua, Huangshan
Mount Jiuhua
Mount Jiuhua, Huangshan China
Mount Jiuhua, Huangshan Anhui China
Mount Jiuhua, Huangshan Anhui
Mount Jiuhua, Huangshan Anhui province

Mount Jiuhua in Anhui Province, is one of the four Buddhist shrines, the other three are Mount Wutai in Shanxi Province, Mount Emei in Sichuan Province, and Mount Putuo in Zhejiang Province in China.

It is said that Ksitigarbha or Dizang (the Bodhisattva of Salvation) is enshrined on Mount Jiuhua. Ksitigarbha is one of the Mahayana Bodhisattvas of Buddhism. Buddhism relates that after the death of Sakyamuni and before the emergence of Maitreya, Ksifigarbha was the Bodhisartva that saved all the living creatures in heaven and in hell. Like the earth, he was believed to have possessed an unlimited amount of the best strains of seeds. Buddhism continues that in the Tang Dynasty (618-907), the Korean prince Kim Qiaojue came to China across the sea. He meditated for 75 years at Mount Jiuhua. During that period, Bodhisattva Dizang was preached, and large-scale constrtion of monasteries was undertaken. The Song (960-1279) , Yuan (1279- 1368), Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties witnessed great changes. During the heyday in history, there were over 300 monasteries with more than 4,000 monks. Pilgrims came to Mount Jiuhua all the year round, and was reputedes "the Fairy City of Buddhist Kingdom". With the elapsing of time, only 78 monastteries with over 1,500 Buddhist images left on Mount Jiuhua.

The great poet Li Bai (701-762) in the Tang Dynasty travelled to Mount Jiuhua three times, and wrote the wonderful lines on "Nine lovely hibiscus blooms wringing up, out of blue water in the far-off sky" Following his example, over 300 scholars of the past dynasties have left behind more than 500 popular verses. Here exist waterfalls, springs, peaks and clouds, all are intoxicating; temples and nunneries built against the cliffs all possess the style of dwellings of South Anhui Province. At the shrine, visitors will find beauty in tranquillity and cordiality in elegance. When visitors climb up the mountain along the northern route where the scenery is most beautiful and monasteries and historic sites are most numerous. Ganlusi (Sweet Dew Temple), one of the four Buddhist monasteries at Mount Jiuhua, located half way up the mountain, is now Mount Jiuhua Buddhist College. Inside the temple, halls are spacious, Buddha images numerous, and luxuriant trees and tall bamboo make the environment peaceful and quiet. Looking from a distance, visit(as see this lovely Taoyan Waterfall at its best when the river is swollen from seasonal rains. At this time the water spills over the tiers with tremendous force, creating a strong breeze that fans mist into every nook and cranny around the falls. The view is indeed spectacular.

Encompassing 120 square kilometres, Mount Jiuhua boasts 99 peaks, of which Tiantai (an elevation of 1,325 metres), Lianhua, Tianzhu , and Shiwang are the most magnificent. The main peak of Shiwang towers 1,342 metres above sea level. There are over 300 monasteries scattered in the clouds and mist at Mount Jiuhua during the heyday in history. After experiencing many vicissitudes, only 78 monasteries have been left on Mount Jiuhua. It is said that Mount Jiuhua ranks first among all the four Buddhist shrines in China, in terms of the concentration of Buddhist monasteries, the furnishings in them and the perfection of the Buddhist images preserved.

Anhui Province carved more inscriptions into the cliffs of Mount Jiuhua, a famous tourist attraction and a sacred place of Buddhism in China for more than 2,000 years. But only 40 original inscriptions survived before 1996. The local government carved about 100 more, the writing of celebrities, Chinese calligraphers and Buddhists. The Mount Jiuhua Administration Office set up a special group to supervise the project, which was completed by the end of 1998.

Chinese workers started construction on September 9, 2001 of the world's largest statue of Bodhistattva at Mount Jiuhua. The copper statue is a 15.5-metre-tall likeness of the Buddha god of wisdom. The archetype of the statue is Jin Qiaojue, a prince from the Xinluo Kingdom (former name for the Korean Peninsular), who, according to historical records, went to Mount Jiuhua to become a monk in 719 ane spent 75 years there until his death at 99. The Luoyang Copper Processing Conglomerate using imitauon gold copper built the statue.

The Precious Hall of the Bodhisattva Incarnate

It is located on Shenguang Ridge west of Huachengsi Monastery. In the hall there is an incarnation pagoda housing Bodhisattva Dizang. Buddhism has it that in the Tang Dynasty (618-907), the Korean prince Kim Qiaojue came to China across the sea. He meditated for 75 years at Mount Jiuhua and passed away, or achieved nirvana at the age of 99. Because he looked very much like Bodhisattva Dizang described in Buddhist legends after his death, he was believed to be the incarnation of Bodhisattva Dizang, and was called gold Bodhisattva Dizang by the people of later generations. An incarnation pagoda (Dizang Pagoda) was built for worship. The place holding the pagoda was then called the Hall of the Incarnation. Crossing the Jiuhua Street, visitors see a flight of straight, precipitous steps leading directly to the Precious Hall. In front of the hall there is a horizontal board hanging above, carrying the words "First Mountain in the Southeast" At the centre of the hall stands a seven-storey pagoda made of red wood. Top of the pagoda is decorated with a golden parasol, and inside the pagoda are eight small chambers on every storey with over 100 statues of Dizang in the chambers. Big statues of Dizang can also be seen in front and behind the pagoda. On both sides in the hall stand gilded status of ten Hell-kings in different gestures? The floor of the hall is paved with white marble, its roof is covered with iron tiles, and the hall is surrounded by exquisite stone pillars, carved, and painted corridors. Another horizontal board at the back of the hall carries the pledge of Dizang. Aceording to the monks, onks, on the anniversary of Dizang's nirvana, Chinese and foreign pilgrims come to worship and give alms.

Accommodating 5,000 people, the Centenarian Palace was built at the edge of a precipice on the East Peak and visitors can witness the incarnation of Monk Wuxia, which has existed for over 400 yeats but is not yet decayed. Monk Wuxia copied Huangyangjin Buddhist Scripture into 81 volumes in 38 years with the blood of his tongue and fingers mixed with gold powder. Buddhism has it that Manjusri or the Bodhisattva of Wisdom, or Wenshu in Chinese, is the left attendant of Sakyamuni. His birth place is said to be on Mount Wutai in Shanxi Province, North China. As the left attendant of Sakyamuni, he is in charge of wisdom, usually shown riding a lion. Standing side by side with Wenshu, Samantabhdra or Puxian / the Bodhisattva of Universal Benevolence is the right attendant of Sakyamuni, Mount Emei in Sichuan Province, Southwest China, has been known as the place where he gained enlightenment. He is often shown riding an elephant. Guanyin or Avalokitesvara is the left attendant of Amitabha Buddha. She appears as one of the Three Western Sages headed by Amitabha Buddha. Guanyin is described as a Bodhisattva of Great Mercy, who helps the needy and relieves the distressed, cures the disabled and saves a sinking vessel whenever they call her title Bodhisattva Guanyin. Guanyin, usually standing or sitting on a lotus flower with a treasure vase full of dew held in her right hand, was introduced into China with Mahayana Buddhism and was first known as "Guanshiyin." In the Tang Dynasty the Chinese character "shi' was left out because it happened to be part of the name of the reigning emperor -- Li Shimin (599-649, ruled 626-649). Thus Guanyin became the usual name. Buddhism has it that Guanyin has 31 different images with 32 incarnations. Many of the images are female ones. As early as the Northern and Southern Dynasties, the female image of Guanyin appeared, and became quite popular in the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Guanyin has many names: the White-Robed Guanyin, Dragon-Head Guanyin, Fish-Basket Guanyin, Water and Moon Guanyin, Medicine-Bestowing Guanyin, etc. Sometimes Guanyin stands on a lotus flower, godhisattva Guanyin gained enlightenment on Mount Putuo, on Zhoushan Island, Zhejiang Province, East China. Guanyin in female image is often depicted holding a tiny chinaware flask in her hand. In the Hall of Guanyin, these goddess images sometimes sit amidst burning red candles. On her three birthdays, lots of aged pilgrims come in and kowtow before them with offerings of incense. Her birthdays fall on the 19th day of the 2nd, the 6th and 9th lunar months, said to be the time for the Bodhisattva to achieve Nirvana or ascend to the Buddhist Western Happy Region. At Mount Jiuhua, there are now over 600 monks and nuns in 94 temples.

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Mt Jiuhuashan
 
 
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