The Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple in Dali

The Three Pagodas of Chongsheng Temple 崇圣三塔 used to be situated at the foot of Diancang Mountain on the shores of Lake Erhai. The temple no longer exists, but the three pagodas, different in size and history, remain. Qianxun Pagoda, the biggest of the three, is described variously in historical records, but from its structure and shape, it must have been built after the Kaicheng period (836 to 840) of the Tang Dynasty and undergone repairs in the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. When the pagoda was repaired again in 1979, three copper plates, found in the bottom of the steeple, stated that the pagoda was repaired in 1000, 1142 and 1154. Also discovered were statues of Buddha and bodhisattvas, scriptures, seals, coins, a bronze mirror, porcelain, articles used in Buddhist ritual, musical instruments, daily-use articles, various kinds of small pagodas, and gold and silver ware. Unearthed from the pagoda’s underground palace were ceramic Buddhist statues and pagodas and matrices for printing Buddhist scriptures in Sanskrit.

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Straight and towering, the Quadrangular Qianxun Pagoda, the main one was exquisitely constructed, with multiple tiers of eaves. It has 16 storeys and a height of 69.13 meters. In the central part of each facade, a shrine was built and a Buddha statue of white marble installed. The two other pagodas of 10 stories are 42.19 meters high. They are solid and beautiful, and in octagonal shape. Coated with white mud, and carved with a shrine, Buddha statue, lotus flowers, etc. on each story, the pagodas look elegant and stately.

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The newly built Chongsheng Temple covers an area of 40 hectares. It is arranged along a main axis and two auxiliary axes. Lying in proper order along the main axis are the Gate to the Temple, Heavenly Kings, Maitreya, Eleven-faced Goddess of Mercy, and Great Hero Halls, the Pavilion of Achuoyie Goddess of Mercy, Mountain-Lake Grand View Stone Archway, and the Lake Viewing Tower. Along the two auxiliary axes are Arhat, Eminent Monks (the nine kings who became monks), Founders (six founders of the Zen sect), and Heavenly Kings Halls, and Institute of Buddhism.

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Mount Emei is the home of the first Buddhist temple

The tallest of the Four Sacred Buddhist Mountains of China, Mount Emei is the home of the first Buddhist temple built in China in the 1st century. Spotted with no fewer than 76 Buddhist monasteries, Mount Emei is not just a place for enlightenment — with spectacular views of the sunrise and endless seas of clouds, it’s a place to completely immerse yourself in China’s natural wonders.

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Emei Shan literally means “Delicate Eyebrow Mountain” — it derives its name from two peaks which face each other and look like the delicate eyebrows of a Chinese classic beauty. The range stretches more than 200km from south to north, with its main peak, Wanfo Top, 3,100m above sea level. Since ancient times, Emei Mountain has been described as “Beauty Under Heaven.”
It is 5km to the top, which takes around 10 hours on foot. If you choose to walk it all, plan for a full day up and a full day down. Monasteries along the way offer reasonably-priced lodging, and there are several comfortable lodges on the summit. Remeber to dress in layers – a 20°C temperature variance between base and summit is normal.

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A full day’s hike to the summit is an unforgettable experience undertaken by many, but minibuses and cable cars are faster alternatives for travelers short on time. Some spend the night to see the sunrise, others quickly turn around and head back.

The beauty of the West Lake

The beauty of the West Lake lies in a lingering charm that survives the change of seasons in a year, of hours in a day, and of different weathers. Ancient people praised the lake as a “home of hundreds of tourist sites where you get intoxicated all the time”. To demonstrate its beauty, the lake offers 10 most famous scenes as Spring Dawn at Su Causeway, Melting Snow at Broken Bridge, Sunset Glow over Leifeng Hill, Lotus in the Breeze at Crooked Courtyard, Autumn Moon on Calm Lake, Listening to Orioles Singing in the Willows, Viewing Fish at Flowers Pond, Evening Bell at Nanping Hill, Three Pools Mirroring the Moon, Twin Peaks Piercing the Clouds. No wonder the Song Dynasty poet Su Shi compared the Lake to Xizi, a Chinese Cleopatra: “Ripping water shimmering on sunny day, Misty mountains wonder in the rain, Plain or gaily decked out like Xizi, the West Lake is always alluring”. So the lake is also known as Xizi Lake.

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The West Lake landscape is an exceptional testimony to the very specific cultural tradition of improving landscapes to create a series of ‘pictures’ that reflect what was seen as a perfect fusion between people and nature, a tradition that evolved in the Tang and Song Dynasties and has continued its relevance to the present day. The ‘improved’ West Lake, with its exceptional array of man-made causeways, islands, bridges, gardens, pagodas and temples, against a backdrop of the wooded hills, can be seen as an entity that manifests this tradition in an outstanding way.

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The West Lake is a like a shining pearl inlaid on the vast land of China, reputed for beautiful scenery, a multitude of historical sites, brilliant cultural relics, and a profusion of native products. Legend has it that the West Lake was a heavenly jewel fallen to earth. Pragmatists insist that it is a mere lagoon on Hangzhou’s western fringe. In any case, West Lake has inspired painters for centuries.

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is a mountain massif near Lijiang

Jade Dragon Snow Mountain  is a mountain massif (also identified as a small mountain range) near Lijiang, in Yunnan province, southwestern China. The range is also known as Mount Yulong after the Chinese or Mount Satseto after the Naxi name. Its highest peak is named Shanzidou (扇子陡) (5,596 m or 18,360 ft). The view of the massif from the gardens at the Black Dragon Pool (Heilong Tan) in Lijiang is noted as one of China’s finest views, and part of Yulong Snow Mountain Scenic Area, a AAAAA-classified scenic area. 

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Jade Dragon Snow Mountain extends 35 km from south to north and 12 km from west to east, producing different altitudes in the mountain. Owing to conspicuous three-dimensional climate caused by different altitude, various trees and rare animals living in different climates can live together in this mountain It is estimated that half of Yunnan’s 13,000 plants species, 400 kinds of trees, dozens of flowers types, and one-third of China’s known species of medicinal herbs can be found here. When the spring comes, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain bursts into bloom when the camellias, rhododendrons, and azaleas start flowering. Herders take their cattle, goats, sheep, and yaks to graze on its slopes. In autumn, a portion of the pines turns amber yellow, while the leaves on deciduous trees present patches of orange, bright yellow, and scar.

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With the height of 5596 meters, the mountain is magnificent. Jade Dragon Snow Mountain is partly hidden and partly visible; sometimes under the cloudless sky, it is sparkling and crystal-clear; sometimes partly covered by cloud, the part above cloud is bright and clear while the part under cloud is totally green.

Xijiang Miao Villageis the largest Miao ethnic village all over the world

The Miao is an ethnic group known as keen on singing and dancing. Xijiang Miao Village is situated 37 kilometers northeast of Kaili, Guizhou Province. The village is known as the largest one in China, it is famous for profound ethnic culture, beautiful scenery and interesting tourism activities.

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Xijiang Miao Village is the largest Miao ethnic village all over the world. Anthropologists and experts on folklore consider this as the well-reserved region of ’primitive ecological environment’ of Miao Minority.
Xijiang Miao Village, also named ‘China’s Miao stockade village of one thousand households’, is supposed to be the largest Miao Village in China. A continuous row of houses spreads in line of the hilly area. These houses are unique and grand under sunshine and verdant trees.

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The village is located southeast of the town of Kaili (凯里) in southeastern Guizhou, deep in a valley. While we were driving on the narrow windy road in the middle of steep hills covered with forests. So much for the lost paradise and mysterious Miao villages hidden in the misty valley. Xijiang has become a major tourist attraction for those who want to experience the culture of the Miao.
Xijiang Miao Village celebrates many festivals, if tourists are lucky enough to get there during local festivals they could experience how magnificent it could be. Once come to Xijiang, tourists are invited to live like a Miao people, sing Miao songs, dances, wear Miao traditional costumes and silver ornaments.

Wuzhen Town has a history of more than 1,000 years

Wuzhen Town, in Tongxiang City, Zhejiang Province, has a history of more than 1,000 years. Of the ancient residential houses, workshops, and stores still standing on the banks of the rivers, 169,600 square meters, accounting for 81.54 percent of the town’s total floor area, have remained unchanged, lending an atmosphere of antiquity.

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Originally built in the central 19th century covering a total area of 650 square meters (7020 sq. ft), the former residence of Mao Dun, a well-known Chinese revolutionary writer, was the Mao family home for many generations and witnessed the growth of this great revolutionist and writer. In 1984, the former residence of Mao Dun was renovated and extended to cover a total area of 1,731.5 square meters (18,700 sq. ft) – it opened to the public one year later. In 1988, it was listed as one of the Key State Preserved Relic Units and in 1994 was renamed the Mao Dun Museum of the City of Tongxiang. The house has three exhibition areas: ‘Wuzhen, the Hometown of Mao Dun’, ‘the Way of Mao Dun’, and ‘the Former Residence of Mao Dun (renovated)’. The present Mao Dun Museum can be found to the east of the residence, which used to be Lizhi Shuyuan (Aspiration Academy) where Mao Dun spent his early school years.

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Traditional architecture, choice of three residences, boat trip to the house of your choice, three restaurants, bars, cafes, teahouses, lounge, conference rooms, spa, fitness club, business centre, Chinese medicinal courses, Tai Chi, pottery courses, silk workshop and ancient town tours.

Lingyin Temple is one of the largest temples in China

Located 9 km away from the city west of West Lake, Lingyin Temple is one of the largest and most significant Chan (Zen) temples in China. Founded in 326 by an Indian monk named Huili, the temple originally had 72 halls and 18 pavilions, once housing 3000 monks. Unfortunately, the only buildings left today are the Celestial King’s Hall and the 33.6-meter-high Great Buddha Hall. Lingyin Temple is visited today by pilgrims from all over the world and local worshippers. Worship the Buddha and make a wish there. It is believed that Lingyin Temple is one of the top temples for making your wish come true.

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In front of the Lingyin Temple is the Hall of the Heavenly King; at the center of the hall sit statue of the Buddha of Maitreya with a smiling face and a bare belly. The 33.6 meters Hall of the Great Hero is a single-storied structure with three overlapping double layered eaves. After being completely repaired in 1954, the hall was changed to the present structure, made entirely of steel and concrete, and the great hall made spacious, imposing and grand. At the centre of the Hall of the Great Hero is a 19.6 meter’s high figure of magnificent Sakyamuni, founder of Buddhism. These palace, pavilion, stone pagoda, and figures of the Buddha in Ling Yin Temple have great significance in researching the history of Buddhism, the Chinese art of building, precious Chinese cultural relics.
Lingyin Temple is one of Hangzhou’s most popular attractions. It was the site of a temple during the Eastern Jin dynasty (317-420), and after its development during the Five Dynasties (907-960) it became a thriving monastery. Destroyed and rebuilt no fewer than 16 times since, the present structures are renovated Qing dynasty buildings.

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The two largest buildings are the Hall of the Heavenly Kings and the Hall of the Great Hero, the latter being one of the tallest single-story buildings in China and featuring a huge wooden statue of the Sakyamuni Buddha covered in gold leaf, behind which is a statue of the Guanyin, or Goddess of Mercy. The complex contains an important collection of Buddhist sutras.