Archive April 2020

Bingling Temple, One of the Noted Four Caves in China

Bingling temple is located in Yongjing County, Lanzhou city. Bingling thousand Buddha cave in the temple is one of the four famous Grottoes in China, second only to Mogao Grottoes in terms of artistic value, and was listed in the world heritage list on June 22, 2014. Bingling temple, founded in the Western Qin Dynasty, has a history of more than 1600 years since it was expanded in the Northern Wei, Western Wei, Northern Zhou, Sui, Tang, yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties.

Ice cream means “Ten Thousand Buddhas” in Tibetan. Bingling thousand Buddha cave was built in the Western Jin Dynasty (265-316). These caves were excavated many times in subsequent dynasties. There are 183 niches, 694 stone carvings, 82 clay sculptures, and 900 square meters (1076 square yards) of murals in good condition. Bingling qianmiao Grottoes is famous for its stone carvings. It is located on the West Cliff of Dashigou, about 200 meters (about 600 feet) long. The main characters are Sakyamuni, Guanyin, wuliangshou Buddha, Maitreya Buddha, etc. With elegant posture, elegant robes and ribbons, statues are the same as life. Among these caves, cave 169 is worth mentioning. Produced in the Northern Dynasty (386-581), it is the most magnificent and exquisite clay sculpture to preserve Guanyin, Dali Buddha (Dali means powerful power in Chinese). Dali Buddha has a round face and sits cross legged. When we see this sculpture, we will feel its expression is very solemn. On both sides stood Bodhisattva, dressed in hair and waving with bare arms. Color shows us the Buddha and Buddha. No. 125 cave, where Sakyamuni stone sculptures are preserved, should not be missed.

At the end of Yuan Dynasty and the beginning of Ming Dynasty, the yellow school (Gelu school) of Tibetan Buddhism was introduced into Bingling temple. On the basis of inheriting the folk art of the previous generation, Bingling Temple Grottoes absorbed and integrated the foreign Buddhist art, and created a vivid sculpture image and painting art with a new posture and simple technique.

Tianzhu Mountain, One of the Three Most Famous Mountains in Anhui

Tianzhu Mountain presents natural landscapes such as strange peaks, strange rocks, secluded caves, canyons, etc. it is famous for its masculinity, strangeness, spirituality and beauty. Geologists call it “the most beautiful granite landscape in the East”; writers call it “mountain jungle” and “stone Palace”.

Located in Qianshan, Anqing, Anhui Province, the mountain is a branch of Dabie Mountains and well known for its great number of peaks, caves and rare rocks, as well as the beautiful environment with fresh air and numerous green plants. It also features rich cultural relics such as steles carved with the calligraphies of famous people in ancient times, such as Libai, an outstanding poet of the Tang Dynasty (618~907). It is the perfect place for outdoor activities such as climbing mountains, admiring peculiar peaks and a sea of clouds, exploring mysterious caves, and splashing about in the water.

Tianzhu peak, 4887.7 feet (1989.8 meters) above sea level, is the highest peak in the scenic area. It is named “Tianzhu”, which literally means Tianzhu, because it looks like a huge pillar penetrating the sky. The mountain is famous for its steepness because it is extremely difficult to climb. So far, only two tourists have reached the top of the mountain.

Tianzhu Mountain is one of the three famous mountains in Anhui Province because of its unique natural landscape. As early as Emperor Wu of the Han Dynasty, it was named “Nanyue”. There were cultural activities in all dynasties. After the founding of the people’s Republic of China, it has been developed into a scenic spot. In 2011, the scenic spot won the title of AAAAA tourist attraction. In September 2011, it was officially approved as a World Geopark by UNESCO.

Mount Jiuhua, the First Mountain in the Southeast

Jiuhua Mountain, one of the four famous Buddhist mountains in China, is located in Qingyang County, Chizhou City, Anhui Province, known as the first mountain in the Southeast. From the foot of Jiuhua Mountain to Tiantai peak, there are many famous temples, many cultural relics and historic sites. There are still 78 ancient temples such as Huacheng temple, Yueshen temple, Huiju temple, Centenary palace, and more than 1500 Buddha statues. There are more than 1300 cultural relics such as imperial edicts, scriptures and other jade seals and artifacts issued by Emperor Wanli of the Ming Dynasty.

According to historical records, Buddhism was first introduced to Mount Jiuhua in the year 401. In 719, a Korean monk named Jin Qiaojue arrived and practiced Buddhism here for 75 years. Upon his Nirvana in 794, Jin Qiaojue was respected as the Earth Buddha by the locals, hence it has become the place where religious rituals were held to worship the God of Earth.

It has always been a place of attraction to the literary world. It is said that Li Bai (701-762), a famous poet of Tang Dynasty, visited Jiuhua Mountain. When he was intoxicated with the scene of lotus like the peak of Jiuhua Mountain, the poem slipped out, “from the blue sky, a jade stream, nine charming lotus flowers rose from the bottom of the mountain.”. Later, Liu Yuxi (772-784), a poet of the Tang Dynasty, Wang Anshi (1021-1086), a writer of the Northern Song Dynasty, and many other scholars, politicians and monks also went to Jiuhua Mountain for tourism, which made them famous. As a Chinese saying goes, “mountains are famous for their holiness, not for their height.”.

Visitors to Jiuhua Mountain Temple are always impressed by its exquisite architecture and magnificent structure. There are no more than 90 existing temples, most of which were restored in Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Among them, the most famous ones are the reincarnation hall, Huacheng temple, Zhiyuan temple, Changshou temple, zhantanlin temple, Ganlu temple and Tiantai town top temple.

Shexian County, A Famous Historical and Cultural City

Shexian is located in the northeast of Huangshan City, at the foot of Huangshan Mountain. It is a famous historical and cultural city. Surrounded by green mountains and clear waters, there are many cultural relics, folk houses, ancestral halls and memorial archways. This is a museum of classical architectural art.

Walking across the county, you can see the architectural styles of towers, bridges, alleys and wells in Ming and Qing Dynasties everywhere. The beautiful scenery and exquisite architecture make it win the reputation of water town, mountain town and bridge town. This rich county has attracted many historical scholars to praise its beauty. There are three wonders here – ancestral temple, ancient houses and arched city. Therefore, architectural experts in China and around the world call it “the Museum of classical architectural art formed naturally”.

Shexian ancient city is the ancient city of Huizhou, which is composed of Fucheng and Xi’an city. Fucheng was built in the late Sui Dynasty (581-618), and expanded in the late Tang Dynasty (618-907). The existing walls are built along the ridge, which is about 1640 yards long. Some places of interest before the Song Dynasty (960-1279), such as HAMA well, Yinggong well, Dagu well, etc. Doushan street, Zhongshan lane, Dabei street and other old streets have basically maintained the style of Ming and Qing Dynasties. There are 16 memorial archways of Ming and Qing Dynasties in Fucheng and Xi’an city.

Historically, Shexian county was called Huizhou. It is the birthplace of Hui culture (one of the three regional cultures in China). Beautiful places carry talent. In this picturesque place, there are many celebrities who have expertise in different research fields. For example, Zhu Xi was a famous thinker in the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279). He was the inventor of movable type all his life. Tao Xingzhi is a great educator. Huang Binhong is a famous modern painter. Xin’an School of painting, Hui School of architecture, Hui School of drama, Xin’an medicine, Hui School of cuisine and so on all enjoy a certain reputation more or less.

Shexian also has local specialties such as jujube, Huangshan Maofeng Tea, dinggu Dafang tea, Huangshan Green Peony tea, etc., which are regarded as priceless by the local people.