Jiuhua Shan

Jiuhua Shan Overview

Part of the mountain ranges tumbling across southern Anhui that includes Huang Shan, Jiuhua Shan's (Jiǔhuá Shān, 九华山) 99 jagged peaks, draped in pine and bamboo forests, rise over picturesque ridges, mountain streams, waterfalls, and nearly 100 Buddhist temples. As one of China's four holy Buddhist mountains alongside Emei Shan, Putuo Shan, and Wutai Shan, Jiuhua Shan is considered the domain of the Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha (Dàyuàn Dìzàng Púsà, 大願地藏菩萨, or simply Dizang, in Mandarin), who is said to have put off going to Nirvana until no souls are left in hell. A 99 m (324.8 ft) high copper statue of Dizang is currently under construction at the foot of the mountain.

While Huang Shan to the south generally gets more attention and praise, the beauty of what was once known as Jiuzi Shan, or "nine peak mountains," inspired Tang dynasty poet Li Bai (Lǐ Bái, 李白)—whose name is sometimes romanized as Li Po—to bestow it with its current name in a poem, which translates to "nine flower mountains."

Several noteworthy temples are located in the village of Jiuhua, which is located roughly halfway up the mountain, including Huacheng Temple, one of the oldest temples on the mountain, and Baisui Gong, which displays the mummified and gold-covered remains of a 16th century Buddhist monk. Heading further up the mountain, whether by foot or by cable car, visitors pass more temples as well as sites of natural beauty like the Tianran Guanyin, a sharp peak of rock said to look like the Guanyin, the Bodhisattva of compassion.

Perched at Tiantai Zheng Peak, the most revered—though not the tallest—peak in Jiuhua Shan, the Tiantai Temple houses a statue of Dizang surrounded by thousands of statues of little Buddhas.

Tickets to enter the mountain's scenic area sell for RMB 190, which includes entry to the mountain's temples.

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