According to historians, it was said that Emei Shan (Mount Emei) has been inhabited since 10,000 years ago. The first Buddhist temple in China was built on the summit of Mount Emei in the 1st century. It was named the Guang Xiang Temple, however in 1614 it received its present royal name of Hua Zang.
Mount Emei is known for its incredibly diverse vegetation, and scenic beauty. Some of the trees surrounding the area is 1,000 years old. Many people look to Mount Emei as a place of important cultural significance as it was the place where Buddhism first became established in China, and thereby spreading widely through to the East.
Samantabhadra, or Universal Worthy Bodhisattva, resides as the patron Bodhisattva on Mount Emei.
About Emei Shan
Emei Shan (峨眉山), also known as Mount Emei in Szechuan province, China; is one of the four Buddhist sacred mountains. At 3,099m, Emei Shan is the highest of the sacred mountains. Due to the beauty and rich history of Emei Shan, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. It’s name, literally translating to “Delicate Eyebrow Mountain”, is derived from two of it’s mountain peaks that face each other and look like the delicate eyebrows of a Chinese beauty.
Emei Shan is filled with many Buddhist temples and breathtaking scenery. It is condensed with a variety of wildlife and lush forests, some trees are even known to age more than 1,000 years old. There are many native monkeys (Tibetan macaques) in the areas, and they often come in contact with travelers. They are not harmful, however they have the tendency to grab visitor’s bags (especially if it contains food!), therefore many visitors are advised to carry a stick to ward the monkeys away should they try to get mischievous!
There are over 30 temples that are built on Emei Shan; 10 of which are very large and old, all considered as masterpieces of ingenious creativity as it adapts and blends naturally into the environment.
Bao Guo Monastery at the base of Emei Shan.
Inside Bao Guo Monastery.
The infamous bronze bell of Bao Guo Monastery which sound can be heard 15 km away.
At the base of the mountain is Baoguo Monastery which was built in the 16th century. The monastery have a surreal garden that contains extremely rare plants and a library filled with Dharma texts throughout the ages. At the stone staircase near the rear hall, figures of the ‘Eight Immortals’ can be seen, showing the temple’s Taoist origin. It is the most well preserved temple in Mt Emei and is the house to two renowned Buddhist treasure which is a 2.4 m tall porcelain Buddha statue and a 2.4 meter tall, 25 ton bronze bell, the second largest bell in China.
Crouching Tiger Temple (Fuhu Si).
A little further up the you will find the Crouching Tiger Temple, Emei’s largest temple. It was once a Taoist temple but was then converted into a Guan Yin nunnery. The most notable feature of this temple is it’s beautiful 16th century 7m high bronze Hua Yan Pagoda which is engraved with 4,700 Buddha images.
Qing Yin Pavilion
The Qing Yin Pavilion is built against the mountainside at the foot of the Nui Xin Ridge. It is an ensemble of pavilions, towers, and platforms, with the earliest structure dating back to the 6th century. A beautiful natural stream runs through the platforms which earned its name as the “Mountain Garden”.
Wai Nian Temple
Pu Xian Bodhisattva in Wai Nian Temple
Further up the pavilion at 1,020 meters, is Wai Nian Temple, which literally means ‘thousands of years temple’. It was first temple built during the Jin Dynasty, however back then it was called Puxian Temple. An unfortunate incident in 1946 caused the temple to suffer a big fire, causing the beautiful wooden temple halls to be completely burnt, leaving only the brick that was installed during the Ming Dynasty. Later in 1953, two temples were rebuilt and the brick palace renamed as “Beamless Hall”. The highlights of visiting Wai Nian Temple is the “Beamless Hall”, Pu Xian Bodhisattva, and Tooth of the Buddha.
This monastery was built in dedication to Bodhisattva Pu Xian (普贤菩萨), who is the protector of Mt Emei. The statue is 8.5 m high and was made in AD 980. It is made out of copper and bronze and estimated to weigh up to 62,000 kg! The statue is placed in Brick Hall. When the temple was damaged by fire in the 1940’s, the Brick Hall was the only building that was left unharmed.
Golden Summit in Emei Shan
Emei’s famous “Cloud Sea”
Huazang Si on Mt Emei
Wo Yun Nunnery on Mt Emei.
Walking a few hours or taking a cable car ride will lead to the Golden Summit (Jin Ding). It is 3,077 m above sea level. Here, there are two main temples, which is the Wo Yun Nunnery and Hua Zang Si. Hua Zang Si was founded in the 1st century during the Ming Dynasty, at that time it was known as the Pu Guang Hall. Later, it became the Guang Xiang Temple. In the 1970s, the temple was extensively renovated and furnished to preserve its original appearance. Here, the tallest golden Buddha statue of Puxian in the world which is made out of copper and gold plated can be seen on the temple grounds.
Jin Ding is famous for its Four Wonders of Mt Emei which are: The Buddha’s Halo, the Sea of Clouds, the Holy Lamp, and the Golden Summit Sunrise.
Opening hours: 7 am to 7 pm (peak season); 8 am to 6 pm (low season)
|Peak Season||Low Season|
|Entrance Fee||150 RMB||90 RMB|
Jinding Cable Car
Opening hours: 0530 – 1800
65 RMB (upper)
55 RMB (lower)
30 RMB (upper)
20 RMB (lower)
Wannian Cable Car
Opening hours: 0640 – 1800
65 RMB (upper)
45 RMB (lower)
30 RMB (upper)
20 RMB (lower)
|Baoguo Temple||8 RMB|
|Fuhu Temple||6 RMB|
|Wannian Temple||10 RMB|
Best time to visit:
All year round, but the best time to visit is between May and October.
- From Chengdu – 150 km
- From Shuangliu International Airport – 130 km
- From Leshen city – 28 km
- From Emei Shan town – 7 km
More beautiful pictures of Emei Shan.
Temple of Jinding (The Golden Summit).
Nice small garden at the bottom of the mountain.
The entrance to the mountain.
The mountain trail is aided by rocky stairs!
The mountain is also filled with monkeys… beware, some are quite cheeky…
Pu Xian Bodhisattva (Samantabhadra Buddha)
Looking down from the Golden Summit.
Beautiful Buddhist carvings on the stone walls.
Pilgrims circumambulating Pu Xian Buddha statue.
Map of Mount Emei for tourists to refer.
Cable cars available to take pilgrims up to the peak.
Scenery of the mountain peak from a far.
Aerial view of Mt Emei.
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