Hill is situated in the middle of the Yangtze River, 4.5 kilometers northeast
of Zhenjiang City. Seventy-one meters above the sea level, the hill covers an
area of thirty-eight hectares. It was originally named "Qiao Hill".
Legend goes that in order to memory the hermit of the Eastern Han Dynasty Jiao
Guang who once lived here, Emperor Zhenzong of the Song renamed the hill as Jiao
Hill. The hill was covered with greenery which make it look like a piece of floating
jade on the river, hence its another name "Fuyu Hill" (Floating Jade
Dinghui Temple, first built in the Eastern Han
Dynasty (25 - 220), is the largest of all the temples on Jiaoshan Hill. It was
originally named Puji Temple and was renamed as Puji Buddhist Temple in the Song
Dynasty and Jiaoshan Temple in the Yuan Dynasty. During the Qing Dynasty (1644
- 1911), when Emperor Kangxi made a tour of this mountain, its named was changed
to Dinghui Temple, the one we used today.
The temple lies on
the hill and is magnificent in scale. During the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644) when
it reached its golden ages, it has 98 halls, 3000 monks and 18 additional temples
beside it. The mountain gate of Dinghui Temple, simple and elegant, was open to
the south. A pair of stone lion dated from the Ming Dynasty guards the gate and
a tablet written with "Dinghui Temple in Jiaoshan" was hung above the
Daxiongbaodian Hall is the main building
in this temple. It keeps the style of the Ming
and is magnificent and grand with an ornately
painted and carved ceiling, red pillars, and cool
stone floors. Statues of Sakyamuni, Akshobhya
and Amitabha are enshrined inside, with eighteen
arhats line up on both sides. All these figures
are various and vivid in expressions and gestures.
In front of the hall are two 500-year-old ginkgo
trees. Having experienced rains and winds for
thousands of years, they are still exuberant and
the southwest of Dinghui Temple is Huayan Pavilion, which is 2 stories high. On
its eastern, southern and western sides, one can enjoy the scenery of the Yangtze
River. It is also one of the three well-known places in Zhenjiang for admiring
the full moon.
Jiao Hill is also known as a "Hill of Calligraphy".
It contains a famous Forest of Tablets which include over 400 stone tablets inscribed
in the handwriting of some of the best known calligraphers in China dating from
the 7th century to the present. The most famous tablet is "Praising the Crane"
which has been regarded as the masterpiece of huge characters.
trip to the mountain is well worth the effort not only because of the pleasure
one can derive from a few minutes exercise in unspoiled nature, but also because
of the terrific view from the top of the mountain.