Drum Hill

Towering in the eastern suburbs and standing at the north bank of the Reive Min, Drum Hill, the No.1 attraction for tourists in Fuzhou, is a classic scenic spot. Drum Hill is 969 meters above sea level and 10 kilometers from Fuzhou proper. It got its name because a huge rock on the summit resembles a drum and gives off the sound similar to that of a beaten drum when wind blows or rain falls.

 Drum Hill (Gu Shan) Drum Hill (Gu Shan)

Covered all over by green vegetation, Drum Hill abounds in springs and precipitous cliffs. There are some easy walking trails in the woods and forests on the lower slopes and numerous caves to explore. Many of the caves have ancient literature carved into their walls and in Lingyuan Cave alone, there are over 200 pieces of calligraphy. It has been famous for sightseeing for over 1,000 years. 

Three routes can be taken to climb along the Gushan Mountain: the traditional one climbs along the ancient stone path from the foot of the mountain, approximately 3.5 km long, or take a bus directly to the gate of the Buddhist Temple(8 km long.; Visitors may also take the cable car from the foot of the mountain to the Eighteen Sights of Damo.There are more than 100 places of interest on and around Drum Hill, including natural spectacles and historical or cultural sites, among which main sights are Yongquan Temple, the Eighteen Sights of Damo and White Cloud Cave.

South of the summit stands the 1,000-year-old Yongquan Temple on a piece of flatland about 450 meters above sea level. Built in the Five Dynasties (908), the temple represents the cream of China's ancient architecture. It comes first on the list of the five Buddhist temples in Fuzhou and still preserves large and middle-sized palaces and temple halls today. 

The ancient Buddhist Yongquan Temple at Drum Mountain was comprises 25 halls and has a library of 27,900 volumes of Buddhist scriptures. It is a complex of magnificent halls and towers known as "The Mecca of Buddhism" and "The Best Buddhist Monastery in Fujian" frequented by large numbers of worshipers. It has been restored over the centuries and is worth investigating before climbing the 2,500 steps close by which lead to the summit of Drum Mountain. As an ancient Buddhist temple in a famous mountain, it is home to many places worth visiting. 

The conception of its construction is unique. By considering the entire mountain, it's built in the chin of the peak where experts call the "Swallow Nest". The temple seems to be hidden and visitors can not see it whether they are walking, taking a bus or a cable car. Even after entering the gate of the temple, they still can not see the large-scale Yongquan Temple. The saying goes that" Once you enter the mountain, you can not see the temple, while entering the temple, you can not see the mountain." Secondly, there are three invaluable state treasures being housed in the temple--. the pottery pagodas with a thousand Buddhas, the ocean-bed wooden altar table and the Buddhist scripture printed with an ancient printing plate. There are "three irons" (iron tree or sago cycas, iron pot and iron wire wood) which are in the temple as well.

The "pottery pagodas" refer to the pair of pottery pagod as standing before the temple on both sides. The pagodas were made in 1082 (the Song Dynasty) and are 7 meters high. They're octagonal in style with nine stories. A total of 1038 statues of Buddha were molded in them, 72 of them are found on the eaves with 72 pottery bells hanging. This kind of creation is seldom seen in China and therefore, considered very valuable. They are the pride of the temple and protected as state treasures. The attic, for storing canons, preserves nearly 10,000 Buddhist classic printing plates from the Ming Dynasty onward. This is the second treasure found in the temple. The third being 657 copies of classics written by brilliant monks through the ages. The monks pricked their own fingers and wrote the classics with their blood. As for the "three irons", the first one is the sacrificial table made of iron wire wood in the Great Hall of the Buddha Temple. It is said that the table can not be burned by fire nor rotted by water and will become moist when it's overcast. The second one is the three iron trees before the temple . They are more than a thousand years old and still bloom every year. The third refers to the big iron pot,0.8m deep and 1.67m in diameter in the kitchen of the temple. It can serve nearly one thousand people. 

The Eighteen Sights of Damo is situated west of Yongquan Temple. It's main landscape is the natural scenery. In the period of Emperor Dao Guang of the Qing Dynasty, Wei Jie, a poet, carved the eighteen sights in the crag outside the Damo Cave. These sights are based on the natural scenery and folk legend, such as Damo facing the wall, picture of Fuzhou (blessing and longevity) Quan, lion playing with ball, Nanji (an immortal) going up to Heaven and Fish light illuminating.

 White Cloud Cave lies in the western part of Fengchishan Mountain, northwest of Gushan Mountain over 700m above sea level. The white clouds frequently float into the cave and people can not distinguish each other within a short distance. That's why they call it "White Cloud Cave." After the scholar Yu Dafu visited the cave, the rocks were odd and the path was dangerous. This isolated place had a well-deserved reputation. "Once you have been there, the experience will never be forgotten. It is wonderful because it dangerously steep". The best route to visit it by is to set out from Yong Dexing Mountain villa in the Buocing Village Gushan Town, by way of Jicui Hut, Wotan Bridge, Fang Sheng Temple, Longji Road and Foutou Cliff to White Cloud Cave. On this route, visitors may pass Kong Gu Chuang Yin, visit Turtle Stone then come down the mountain to Yongquan Temple. 

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