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Jiuhua Mountain

Jiuhua Mountain is dotted with temples and misted with the smoke of burning joss sticks. It is a sacred place for Buddhist pilgrims. Noted for its beautiful scenery and favorable climate, the mountain is an ideal summer resort. With a unique appeal, Jiuhua has been established as one of the four most important Buddhist mountains in China and is known in and out of the country as "the most worshipped sacred place" and "the first mountain in Southeast China".

Jiuhua covers an area of 100 square kilometers southwest of Qingyang county in the south of Anhui Province. There are 99 peaks and 18 scenic spots. The peaks stand sheer against each other, yet they are all exquisitely beautiful. In the height of prosperity, the temples numbered 150 and the monks and nuns more than 3,000.

When Li Bai was invited to the mountain, he was overwhelmed by the scene of nine peaks that look like lotus blooms from heaven. Out of admiration he composed the lines:"Two forces preserve between the World and the Heaven; / Nine lotuses blossom on the Jiuhua Mountain." Since then the mountain has been attracting men of letters throughout the ages, and thus Jiuhua obtained its fame. Just as the Chinese saying goes,"A mountain is famous not for its height but for its holiness".

History of Jiuhua Mountain

Jiuhu Mountain, known as a Buddhist wonderland and famous for its large number of temples and beautiful scenery, has been a resplendent pearl of Chinese cultural heritage.

Jiuhua Mountain was formed in the late Cenozoic Era, and Buddhism began in the Northern and Southern Dynasties (420-589) at the mountain. According to historical records, a monk named Fuhu built Fuhu Convent in 503; Monk Tanhao practised Buddhism here in 713; During 713-755, Jin Qiaojue, a Korean aristocrat, came to Jiuhua Mountain and lived in a stone cave at Dongya Peak. His hard practice moved the local people, and they contributed money to build a temple for him. In 781 the local official Zhang Yan presented a memorial to the emperor for the horizontal inscribed board "Huacheng". Upon Jin Qiaojue's nirvana, it was said that the mountain roared, birds and monkeys cried, and the earth gave out fire and light. His body kept lively three years later, so he was respected as the Earth Buddha, wrapped with earth and has been preserved to present. Roushen Pagoda was built to revere him, and thus Jiuhua Mountain has become the place where Earth Buddhist rites are performed.

The history of Buddhism at Jiuhua Mountain can be divided into five periods: founded in the middle of Tang Dynasty ; decayed from the late Tang Dynasty to the Five Dynasties; slowly developed in the Song and Yuan Dynasties; and greatly developed in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. In the Ming Dynasty, the emperors granted money to rebuild Huacheng Temple for three times and two emperors bestowed inscriptions. The number of temples and nunneries was over a hundred, and many monks and nuns came. It was listed as one of the four famous Buddhist mountains, besides Wutai Mountain, Emei Mountain, and Putuo Mountain.

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