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Mount Jiuhua, located at Qingyang County, Chizhou City of Anhui Province, is one of the four sacred Buddhist mountains in China, together with Mount Wutai in Shanxi, Mount Putuo in Zhejiang and Mount Emei in Sichuan. Mount Jiuhua is dedicated to Ksitigarbha (Chinese Pinyin: Dizang), a bodhisattva and protector of beings in hell realms according to Mahayana Buddhist tradition. This holy land is listed as “National AAAAA Tourist Attraction” and reputed as “Buddhist Heaven for Lotus Flowers”.
Traveling to Mount Jiuhua can not only immerse in the breathtaking natural beauty, but also have deep understanding about Chinese Buddhism and Mount Jiuhua’s profound culture.
Historical & Cultural Mountain. Mount Jiuhua originally called Mount Jiuzi in Liang and Chen Dynasties in Song Dynasties. A legend says that the famous poet Li Bai in Tang Dynasty came to Mount Jiuhua several times, when he saw the shape of 99 peaks like a blossom lotus and wrote down the poem “Magic is divided into two branches, sacred mountain generates nine glories” (妙有分二气，灵山开九华). Hence, Mount Jiuzi changed into Mount Jiuhua which has been using till today. After Li Bai, there were numerous scholars, poets and litterateurs came and left great works. Even, the emperor Kangxi in Qing Dynasty inscribed “Holy Land of Mount Jiuhua” (九华圣境). Travelers can enjoy the stories from ancient academies and other historical sites.
Buddhist Holy Land with over 1600 Years. “A mountain is not famous for its height but for its holiness”. In 401 AD in Eastern Jin Dynasty, the monk “Beidu” from old India came to Mount Jiuhua to build temples and preach Buddhism. In 719 AD, Kim Qiaoque, a Silla (today’s South Korea) prince came to Jiuhua Mountain and cultivated himself for 75 years. He died at 99 years old and his corporeal body stayed intact. Because he was very similar in appearance to Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, the monks here believed Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva was reincarnated in him. Hence, Mount Jiuhua became the place to hold rites for Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva.
Breathtaking Natural Scenery with 99 peaks. Jiuhua Mountain is reputed as “the First Mountain in Southeast China” with magnificent peaks, murdering streams, bizarre rocks, beautiful waterfalls, seclude caves, etc. Among the 99 peaks, nine famous ones are outstanding, including Tiantai Peak, Tianwang Peak, Shiwang Peak, Lianhua Peak, Duxiu Peak, Luohan Peak, Wulao Peak, Fuhu Peak and Furong Peak. And the main streams include Jiuhua Stream, Qingtong Stream, Laba Stream, Dragon Stream, Jiuzi Stream, Wulong Stream, etc. Travelers can immerse yourselves with intoxication in “Ten Scenes of Mount Jiuhua” and “Ten New Scenes of Mount Jiuhua”.
Visiting famous temples, appreciating gorgeous nature view, climbing on a high peak…there are a lot “meaningful”, “mysterious” things to do when visiting Mount Jiuhua. Besides having full understanding about Chinese Buddhism, you can unlock the mystery of Ksitigarbha bodhisattva and its secret corporeal body, see and attend some Buddhist activities and enjoy the grand festivals holding here. Mount Jiuhua is composed of five main scenic areas, including
With about 1300 years’ history, the Incarnation Grand Hall is the burying place for Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva - Kim Qiaojue. Hence, the Incarnation Hall is also called Ksitigarbha Pagoda. The hall is built on a high terrace with stone pillars, red wall, iron tile, white marble and “The First Mountain in Southeast China” (东南第一山) inscribed on the front door. In the Hall, travelers can view the seven-story wooden Ksitigarbha Pagoda with white marble base. Inside the pagoda, you can worship the Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva with over 100 statues which is magnificent and solemn.
Standing at 871 meters, the Longevity Palace was first in Ming Dynasty, listed as one of the Four Buddhist Temple of Mount Jiuhua. The palace is five-story old castle without separate buildings. The castle-like palace is composed of front gate, grand hall, fresh-body hall, vegetarian restaurant, etc. The palace is enshrined with the fresh-body of Wuxia master. In the 16th century, the monk called Wuxia after traveling to Mount Wutai and Mount Emei came to Mount Jiuhua and cultivated himself and live till 126 years old. His corporeal body was found three years later after he died which was without decomposition. Hence, the temple changed into Longevity Palace. The emperor Congzhen in Ming Dynasty granted Wuxia as “Yingshen Bodhisattva” (应身菩萨).
Close to the Longevity Palace is Hall with 500 Arhat Statues (五百罗汉堂) in the style of palace structure. There are 500 grand Arhat Statues with different expression and gestures enshrined in the hall. The Hall of 500 Arhat Statues is only kept in Mount Jiuhua among the Four Sacred Buddhist Mountains.
When you reach the viewing deck of Longevity Palace, you can turn east to have a grand view of the mountains in the shape of natural Sleeping Buddha sitting on the ground. The sleeping Buddha is located at Flower Terrace Scenic Area with its head towards to Heavenly Terrace peaks, its neck and nose composed by Big Flower Terrace. It is very vivid, holy and mysterious!
According to Buddhist Scripture, there is a saying “pointing an area as a city”. This temple is located at the center area of Huacheng basin and got the name “Huacheng Temple”. It is the rite for Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva with long history. In Eastern Jin Dynasty (401 AD), the monk Beidu built the temple for cultivation. Rebuilt in Tang Dynasty, when Kim Qiaojue came to Mount Jiuhua and died at 99 years old, Huacheng Temple was regarded as the rite for Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva. Visiting Huacheng Temple, travelers can first have a good look at the pair of stone lions which was the relics from Tang Dynasty, walk up the stairs with three huge doors inscribed with couplets to describe as the first temple among all the temples of Mount Jiuhua. Walking into the front gate, you can see the Depository of Buddhist Sutras, the Great Buddha’s Hall, Old Bronze Bell, etc. You can also take a view at the important cultural relics, like palm-leaf manuscript, Tripitaka, Sakyamuni Bronze Statue at 1.98 meter high, Sakyamuni Jade Sitting Statue at 0.74 meters high, etc.
Located at the entrance of Jiuhua Street, Zhiyuan Temple, first built in Ming Dynasty, is listed as one of the Four Buddhist Temples of Mount Jiuhua. This temple is composed of nine separate buildings - Linggong Palace, Maitreya Palace, the Great Buddha’s Hall, Bright Lecture Hall, etc. All the structures are exquisite. Inside the Great Buddha’s Hall, travelers can see the 12-meter high Buddhas - Sakyamuni Buddha, Amitabha Buddha and Bhaisajyaguru Buddha, moreover, you can see Manjusri Buddha, Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, the Eighteen Arhats’ sitting statues. In the Depository of Buddhist Sutras, there is the precious “Tripitaka” (Qianlong Version), the only tripitaka in Chinese engraved by the official in Qing Dynasty. Walking around the temple, you can view a huge bronze cooking pot which can be used as cook for 1000 monks. If time permits, you can get up early to Zhiyuan Temple to catch the beautiful and misty morning glow.
Tiantai Peak, also called Heavenly Terrace Peak, is standing at a height of 1306 meters. It is a little lower than Shiwang Peak at 1342 meters. A saying goes “you never reach Mount Jiuhua without a visit to Heavenly Terrace Peak”. Numerous believers and travelers head to Heavenly Terrace Peak and pray at Tiantai Temple. This place they believed is the half-way world linking with sky and earth.
Heavenly Terrace Peak is the best site to enjoy the panoramic view of Mount Jiuhua as well as catch the sunrise over Mount Jiuhua and the scene of “Tiantai Sunrise” is listed as one of the ten scenes of Mount Jiuhua. To catch the holy sunrise, you’d get to Pengri Pavilion and Cloud Gorge at the right time.
It is recommended to spend 2 days exploring Mount Jiuhua to the fullest, both its nature and culture. On the first day, arrive at Jiuhua Street, visit Zhiyuan Temple, Huacheng Temple, walk (around 40 minutes) or take cable car up the Longevity Palace to see Yingshen Bodhisattva and Hall with 500 Arhat Statues, reach the viewing deck to catch the amazing sleeping Buddha. Walk or take cable car down to Jiuhua Street. Be followed your trip to The Incarnation Grand Hall. On the second day, walk (about 3 hours) or take cableway up to Tiantai Peak to visit Tiantai Peak and have panoramic view of Mount Jiuhua with many magnificent peaks, like Shiwang Peak, Lazhu Peak, etc. Get down the mountain by taking cableway and on the way, if you like, visit Ganlu Temple. After the Buddhism trip, you’ll be escorted to Chizhou Airport or Chizhou Railway Station.
Mt. Jiuhuashan owns the feature of subtropical monsoon climate and alpine climate. It is moist and rains a lot on the mountain with an average rainfall of 2400mm and an average temperature of 13.4℃. The weather changes very distinctly at a high elevation – spring comes late, summer is short, autumn comes early and winter is long.
In spring season, it is cloudy and foggy and travelers who reach the top of the mountain can enjoy the spectacular sea of clouds. Moreover, it is windy in May which lasts for about 20 days. During April to June, travelers can enjoy azalea, peach, Chinese rose, camellia, peony, Chinese herbaceous peony, like beautiful painting unfolding before your eyes. Summer is the best time to escape heat from bustling city and enjoy the cool of Mount Jiuhua which has an average temperature of 23.8℃. The autumn season in Mount Jiuhua has about only two months at Jiuhua Street and only one month at Tiantai Peak. In the middle of September, the whole mountain is turning into golden and red which makes it the best time to appreciate colorful leaves and flowers. From the middle of November to the late of March is the winter season with 36 days snow-capped days which could be the crystal palace over the mountain. Each season has its own features and the most recommended seasons are from the middle March to Middle November.
Mount Jiuhua is located in the southwest of Qingyang County, Chizhou City in Anhui Province, which borders Yangtze River in the northeast and Yellow Mountain in Huangshan City in the southeast, about 100 kilometers away. Travelers can take flights, trains and coaches to Chizhou City first and then transfer to Mount Jiuhua.
Chizhou Jiuhuashan Airport has flights from/to Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Xiamen, Hangzhou, Shenzhen, Kunming, Jinan, Dalian and Nanjing. There are airport shuttle buses running between Jiuhuashan Bus Station and the airport which takes around 40~50 minutes, and charges 20 Yuan per person.
Chizhou Railway Station is the main train station served in Chizhou and Mt. Jiuhuashan. Trains are available between Chizhou and Hefei, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Nanjing, Beijing, Wuxi, Wenzhou, Anqing, Ningbo, Nanchang, etc. While, the distance between Chizhou Railway Station and Mount Jiuhua is 48 kilometers which takes 1 hour for transfer by car.
Shanghai - Chizhou High Speed Trains: The distance between Shanghai and Chizhou is about 430 kilometers. Every day, there are 10 G train running from Shanghai to Chizhou which takes about 3 hours and 40 minutes. The earliest one departs from Shanghai Railway Station at 06:02 and the last one departs from Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station at 17:07.
Hefei - Chizhou High Speed Trains: The distance between Hefei and Chizhou is about 160 kilometers. Both D trains and G trains are available with 9 schedules daily. It runs from Hefei South Railway Station to Chizhou Railway Station and the earliest one is at 06:51 and the last one is at 20:07. It takes less than 1.5 hours from Hefei to Chizhou.
Travelers can take long distance buses to Chizhou Long-distance Bus Station from Huangshan Tunxi, Hefei, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Nanjing, Wuhan, etc. The distance between Huangshan City and Chizhou Long Distance Bus Station is about 185 kilometers. Usually, buses depart from Huangshan Tunxi at 08:30, 09:20, 13:10 and 14:40. It costs around 80 Yuan per person. (Please note: schedules and price may do some change based on the real situation. To buy long distance bus tickets, you’d better head to the corresponding station for detailed information and buy tickets in advance.)
The distance between Chizhou Long-distance Bus Station and Mount Jiuhua is 53 kilometers. You can take buses at Chizhou Long-distance Bus Station which are available at 07:00, 08:00, 10:00, 11:00. 13:00 and 14:00.
If you want to get rid of hustle of public transportation and troublesome navigation, you can take a private tour package which covers sightseeing, dining and transfer from us. Our local tour guide and driver will escort you to Mount Jiuhua with speed and convenience, and take care of all the details. You just need to focus on sightseeing.
Travelers can take sightseeing bus to travel around Mount Jiuhua. It charges 50 Yuan per person to reach Jiuhua Street, Ganlu Temple, Minyuan Garden, Zhiyuan Temple, Huacheng Temple, etc.
Besides, there are three cableways in Mount Jiuhua helping you get up and down - Baisuigong (Longevity Palace) cable car, Tiantai (Heavenly Terrace) Cable car and Huatai (Flower Terrace) cable car.
If you are a Buddhist or a traveler who are fond of Buddhist events, you can seize the right time to travel to Mount Jiuhua. The grand events include Ksitigarbha Ceremony (to celebrate the birthday of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva which lasts for 7 days from July 30 to August 6 or July 30 to August 6 every year), Sakyamuni Buddha’s Birthday (to celebrate the birthday of Sakyamuni Buddha by bathing the statues, chanting and other activities at the eighth day of the fourth month by lunar calendar), Temple Fair (to celebrate at the thirtieth day of the seven month of lunar calendar to hold ceremony).
When traveling in the holy Buddhist mountain, you are guaranteed a comfortable stay. Choices are many - you can choose from the 5 star luxury hotels, 4 star hotels to cheap hotels and hostels. The most recommended ones are Jiuhuashan Julong Hotel (4 star) and Jiuhuashan Dongya Hotel (4 star).
Jiuhuashan Julong Hotel: It is located at No.2 Huacheng Road, Jiuhua Street of Mount Jiuhua Scenic Area, close to Zhiyuan Temple. Opened in 2011, Jiushan Julong Hotel has modern facilities, including 232 rooms, 3 meeting rooms, Chinese & Western cuisines, Sauna, Gym, bar, free Wifi, entertainment facilities, etc. It is a good choice for travelers to stay in an advanced hotel well blended with nature.
Jiuhuashan Dongya Hotel: This 4-star hotel located No.8 Huachang Road, Jiuhua Street of Mount Jiuhua Scenic Area, close to Huacheng Temple. There are altogether 240 rooms with several types, including business standard rooms, executive standard rooms, deluxe standard rooms, business suite, family triple rooms, business single rooms, deluxe single rooms. In the convenient Dongya Hotel, you can have an enjoyable accommodation, experience good service.
With strict rules no matter the monks or the local resides and travelers, they are forbidden to eat meat but vegetarian food. Hence, the vegetarian food in Mount Jiuhua is famous. You can taste fresh bamboo shoots, sealwort, agaric, been seeding, fiddlehead, etc. The dishes are fragrant, brittle, fresh and tender. You can enjoy the food at the temples or local restaurants at Jiuhua Street.
Top 3 Mount Jiuhua tours chosen by most customers to explore Mount Jiuhua in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary, or tailor your own trip now with us.
Shanghai / Mount Jiuhua
Shanghai / Jiuhuashan / Huangshan
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[Important] Travel News for Expats: China travel is reopening now! Travel with China Discovery and learn about where to visit & requirements for each destination! Read Details >