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Home East China Attractions Chizhou Jiuhua Buddhist Mountain

Chizhou Jiuhua Buddhist Mountain Travel Guide


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Jiuhua Mountain is one of four most famous Buddhist Mountains, and the other three are Putuo Mountain, Wutai Mountain and Emei Mountain. In tourism, it is one of three most famous mountains in Anhui province, and the others are Huangshan Mountain and Tianzhu Mountain. Listed into the first batch of tourist attractions under the national protection, Jiuhua Buddhist Mountain is a Five- A tourist destination. It is the site for worshipping Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, which in Chins is widely known to be Dizangwang Bodhisattva, who was one of four most famous and respected bodhisattvas in China together with Guanyin Bodhisattva (Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva), Wenshu Bodhisattva(Manjushri Bodhisattva) and Puxian Bodhisattva (Samantabhadra Bodhisattva). He vowed that he would not be a Buddha if the hell was not vacant. And he thought the real bodhi was to help all the creatures go to the side of western paradise.

The origin of Jiuhua mountain connected with Buddhism was related to Jin Qiaojue(金乔觉, 696 - 794), who was said to be prince of Xinluo State, currently belongs to today’s South Korea. At the age of 24, he came to China to learn the Buddhism sutras, and got to Jiuhua Mountain by way of Nanling, and he chose this site to be his site for cultivation. At the time, Jiuhua Mountain was the private land of Mr. Min, a famous rich and authoritative figure in local region. Jin Qiaojue asked him for a land for keeping Buddhist cassock, and this was surely not a problem to this tycoon, and Mr. Min generously agreed and allowed him to choose the site. Unexpectedly, Jin Qiaojue unfolded his cassock and slightly quivered it, and the cassock suddenly extended largely and covered nine peaks of the mountainous area. It really shocked Mr. Min, and made him know the superpower of Buddha. Since then, Mr. Jin presented the whole mountain to Jin Qiaojue, and built the temple complex for him. In 757, Master Jin had the temple for cultivation and site for spreading his understanding on Buddhism. His fame extended instantly. Lots of Buddhist pilgrims came here to worship the Buddha. Even the monks of Xinluo came here as heard the story of Master Jin. Mr. Min also had his son be a student of Master Jin and then he followed Master Jin as well to get a further cultivation. At present, the servants on the both sides of the statue of Dizangwang Bodhisattva were Mr. Jin and his son.

Jin Qiaojue stayed in Jiuhua Mountain for decades of years, and in 795, he passed away at the age of 99, and his body was reserved in the crock for three years, and it was not rotten at all, and kept the original look. In accordance with the life experiences and thought on Buddhism, he was considered as the aspect of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, and the influence of Jiuhua Mountain as its site is also widespread internationally.

There are three master-body halls in Jiuhua Mountain, respectively located in Shenguang Peak, Baisui Palace and Shuangxi Temple. Shenguang Peak is the site to keep the body of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, so it is also called the Pagoda of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva. Nowadays, there are more than 90 temples on the mountain, and nine of them are the key sites under the state protection. There are also 15 original bodies of masters from Tang Dynasty to today.

The Details of Tourist Attraction in Jiuhua Buddhist Mountain

There are 18 classic tourist sites on the mountain, and one of the most tourist-friendly is Jiuhua Street. With hundreds of years of Buddhist influence, temples sit side-by-side shops, schools, homes and restaurants, dispelling the myth that Buddhist monks live in seclusion. This area, while thronging with tourists, is just one part of the tapestry that weaves this mountain community together.

jiuhua mountain
Grand Buddha Statue in Temple

Just said above, there are many temples along Jiuhua Street, so be sure to buy or bring incense to add a special element to your temple trek. Visitors strolling along the street shouldn't miss the mountain's oldest, holiest temple, Huacheng. While the structure may seem unassuming and uninspiring upon first glance, visitors who take a closer look will see the temple's more artistic and intricate structure and decoration.

The representative of the mountain's historic temples is Baisui Temple, where visitors can see the gold-covered body of the famous monk Wu Xia. This temple houses one of the biggest mysteries on Jiuhua Mountain. It is said that Wu Xia died at the age of 126 and, after his death; his body was kept in a cave. Three years later, monks removed the body to find it still preserved. Now, the body is covered with gold power and displayed in the temple, but it may prove a little frightening for some visitors. But as monks chant scripture and visitors see the piety on believers' faces, one's impressions of the mummy-like monk will surely shift and change, like the incense smoke swirling around it. Even though the temple may be crowded, the peacefulness and tranquility found inside will make visitors feel as if they're in a secluded sanctuary.

Continuing the temple trek along Jiuhua Street, Zhiyuan Temple and Roushen Temple are also worth a visit. After a stroll through these temples one will find the smell of incense dissipating and replaced by the commerce of small souvenir shops selling such items as Yunwu tea, handmade bamboo works, wooden knockers and Buddhist prayer beads.

There are many vegetarian restaurants along Jiuhua Street, but the vegetarian meals available in the temples are a more attractive and authentic dining option. The dishes are simple and cooked with bamboo shoots and black mushrooms. The rice is steamed with mountain spring water, giving it a distinctive flavor.

After a day of strolling through the mountain's peaceful temples, visitors had better make use of the second day on Jiuhua Mountain to see Tiantai Peak. The peak is known to have some of the best sunrise views in China. So be sure to set the alarm early to make the cable car to the peak before sunrise. Visitors will still need to walk a distance to the top of the peak after getting out of the cable car. But the hike is worth the breathtaking views found at the top.

Sitting on the mountain's peak, visitors wait for the sun to rise, while a golden light shines through the clouds. In the distance, there is chiming of bells from temples far away. With the cool wafting breeze and the pleasant fragrances of flowers and trees, the chirping of birds, and the views of temples and pagodas in the distance, tourists may feel they've reached heaven as they watch the sun rising above the mountain.

Whether travelers are looking to indulge in their spiritual side or appreciate the views of a breathtaking mountaintop sunrise, they will enjoy a great spiritual and visual tour in Anhui's Jiuhua Mountain.

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Editor: Julius from Mildchina
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