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Mt. Emei and the Leshan Giant Buddha (Emeishan City, Sichuan Province)

Updated: 2012-11-14 19:54


a.Brief Introduction

Here there is a well-protected landscape that contains a diverse natural environment and a rich cultural heritage. Biologically, the area hosts some 3,200 plant species and 2,300 animal species. There are a number of threatened species, some being endemic to Mt. Emei. Atop the Golden Summit, which is 3,077 m high, one can enjoy the sunrise, seas of clouds, the "Buddha's halo and the sunset glow.

Mt. Emei's history has been recorded for over 2,000 years, during which time a rich Buddhist cultural heritage has accumulated. Within the beamless hall of the Wannian Temple, a hall with outstanding architectural features, towers a bronze statue of Samantabhadra. Cast in 980 AD in the Song Dynasty, it is 7.85 m high, weighs 62 tons and is one of China's important cultural relics. The Baoguo Temple is the site of flourishing Buddhist activities. The Fuhu Temple, the largest temple on the mountain, is surrounded by ancient nanmu trees.

The Leshan Giant Buddha scenic area, which covers 2.5 sq. km, is famous for its Giant Buddha statue, said to be the biggest Buddha statue in the world. The way in which the cultural features have been integrated with the natural scenery is considered to be a precious legacy. The Giant Buddha statue, carved on the mountain, stands 71 m high, with its back against Mt. Jiuding and facing the confluence of the Minjiang, Dadu and Qingyi rivers. There are more than 90 stone carvings and Buddhist shrines on both sides of the Giant Buddha.

Other cultural artifacts include the Lidui (a large rock cut in the center of the river for irrigation purposes by Li Bing of the Qin Dynasty), Mt. Wuyou, Han tombs, Buddha statues of the Tang and Song Dynasties, and pagodas, temples and architectural complexes of the Ming and Qing Dynasties.

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