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Mount Emei - Top Buddhist Mountain in Sichuan

Mount Emei, also Emeishan Mountain, is one of the Four Sacred Buddhist Mountains of China and regarded as the Bodhimanda, or place of enlightenment, of the Bodhisattva Samantabhadra (Pu Xian Pu Sa普贤菩萨 in Chinese). At 3099 meters, Mount Emei is more than 1000 meters higher than the other three Buddhist sacred mountains.

Mount Emei has been inscribed as a World Heritage Site for its enchanting scenic beauty, and great spiritual and cultural importance because of its role in the introduction of Buddhism into China. It was originally a Taoist retreat and first Buddhist temple in China was built on the summit of Mount Emei in the 1st century CE. It became the Guangxiang Temple and changed to Huazang Temple in 1614. There are other more than 30 Buddhist temples, ten of them are large and very old in traditional style and built on hillsides, including Baoguo Temple, Fuhu Temple, Qingyin Pavilion, Wannian Temple, Hongchunping, Xianfeng Temple, Xixiangchi, Huazang Temple. On the Golden Summit, if lucky, travelers can catch the rare chance to experience the Four Wonders of Mount Emei – the Buddha’s Halo (rainbow-like rings that surround and move with your shadow), the Sea of Clouds, the Divine Lights and the Golden Summit Sunrise.

Top Buddhist Temples on Mount Emei

Baoguo Temple

Baoguo Temple is first temple of Mount Emei, located at the piedmont of Mount Emei at an altitude of 551 meters. As the portal of the whole mountain, it’s the center of various Buddhist activities, and the Emei Buddhist Association is also in here. First built in Ming Dynasty (1368 ~ 1644), Baoguo Temple has four major halls at present, including Maitreya Hall, Mahavira Hall, Seven Buddha Hall, Samantabhadra Hall. A Ming-dynasty porcelain Buddha and 14-floor Copper Tower decorated with more than 4700 images of Buddha in Depository of Scriptures.

Mount Emei Baoguo Temple

Qingyin Pavilion

Qingyin Pavilion, at an altitude of 710 meters, is located in the core area of Mount Emei, 30 minutes’ walk from Wuxiangang Parking lot. It was first called Woyun Temple, later the master Guangji in Ming Dynasty renamed and gave “Qingyin” to this pavilion. The temple is not big, however, it’s very beautiful and it’s a classic garden architecture of Buddhist temple in China. There is only one hall to worship Three Saints of Hua-yen, Shakyamuni Buddha in the middle, Manjusri Bodhisattva in the left and Samantabhadra Bodhisattava in the right. Qingyin Pavilion connects Hongchunping, Xianfeng Temple in its left hand and Bailong Cave, Wannian Temple in its right hand, making it a must-visit place during your pilgrimage travel.

Mount Emei Qingyin Pavilion

Wannian Temple

Wannian Temple is the largest temple of Mount Emei at a height of 1020 meters, about 15 kilometers from Baoguo Temple. It was first built in Eastern Jin Dynasty (397~401). Wannian Temple is featured for worshiping the bronze statue of Samantabhadra. It has many Buddhist halls, including Maitreya Hall, Hall of Avalokitesvara Buddhisatva, Samantabhra Hall, Bell Tower, Drum Tower, Xingyuan Hall, etc. In Samantabhra Hall, it has the bronze statue of Samantabhra Bodhisattava. In Xingyuan Hall, it has the three treasures of Wannian Temple – tooth relic of the Buddha, Palm-leaf manuscript and the royal seal with 4 kilograms.

Mount Emei Wannian Temple

Xixiang Chi

Xixiang Chi, literally “Elephants’ Washing Pool”, also known as Tianhua Chanyuan, is one of the most important Buddhist temples on Mount Emei. The name of the temple comes from a legend which says the Bodhisattva Samantabhadra once bathed his steed, a white elephant, in a pool near the temple. “Night Moon over the Elephant Washing Pool” is one of the famous ten sceneries of Mount Emei. When the moon is shining brightly at night and is reflected in the water, it creates an illusion where the viewer feels like he/she is heaven. Besides the Buddhism legend, Buddhist can see some architectures including Maitreya Hall, Daxiong Hall, Hall of Avalokitesvara Buddhisatva and porcelaneous Avalokitesvara Buddhisatva in Depository of Scriptures.

Xixiang Chi is at a height of 2700 meters, about 13km from Golden Summit. This is a high and cold area, and snow and rainfall are normally heavy, please take care when you hike up from Xixiang Chi to top.

Mount Emei Xixiang Chi

Golden Summit

Golden Summit, called Jinding in Chinese, is the main peak of Mount Emei at an elevation of 3079 meters. Jinding is the concentrated place for Buddhist temples and the most famous one is Huazang Temple which was originally built in 1377 during the Ming Dynasty. It is mainly composed of Maitreya Hall, Daxiong Hall and Bodhisattva Samantabhadra Hall.

Buddhists never miss the Ten-faced Puxian Stupa which stands 48 meters tall, weighs 660 tons and is surrounded by urns containing the ashes of Buddhists. This stupa is the highest golden Buddha in the world.

Besides the Ten-faced Puxian Stupa and Huazang Temple, Jinding is known as the “Four Wonders” – the sunrise, the sea of clouds, the Buddhist Halo and the divine light. The best time to watch sunrise is 07:30-08:00 in winter time and 06:00-06:30 in summer time; the best time to enjoy sea of clouds is 09:00-10:00 and 15:00-17:30; to see the Buddhist Halo is 09:00-10:00, 15:00-16:00.

For a Buddhism Pilgrimage visit, you’d better spend one night on Golden Summit, trying to catch the best time to see the Four Wonders and have spiritual talk with Bodhisattva Samantabhadra.

To know more Emei Mountain info, please read Mount Emei Travel Guide >>

Mount Emei Jinding Mount Emei Huazang Temple

Recommended Pilgrimage Hiking Routes:

Route A: Dafo Temple – Baoguo Temple – Fuhu Temple – Leiyin Temple – Chunyang Palace – Shengshui Temple – Zhongfeng Temple – Guangfu Temple – Qingyin Pavilion – Hongchunping – Xianfeng Temple – Yuxian Temple – Xixiangchi – Leidongping – Jieyin Hall – Taiziping – Golden Summit Huazang Temple;

Route B: Dafo Temple – Baoguo Temple – Fuhu Temple – Leiyin Temple – Chunyang Palace – Shengshui Temple – Zhongfeng Temple – Guangfu Temple – Qingyin Pavilion – Wannian Temple – Xixin Temple – Chu Hall – Huayanding – Xixiangchi – Leidongping – Jieyin Hall – Taiziping – Golden Summit Huazang Temple;

Route C: Dafo Temple – Baoguo Temple & sightseeing bus to Qingyin Pavilion – Bailong Cave – Wannian Temple – Xixin Temple – Chu Hall – Huayanding – Xixiangchi – Leidongping – Jieyin Hall – Taiziping – Golden Summit Huazang Temple;

Route D: Dafo Temple – sightseeing bus to Wannian Temple – sightseeing bus to Leidongping – Jieyin Hall – cableway to Golden Summit Huazang Temple.

Mount Emei Travel Map Click to Enlarge Mount Emei Travel Map

>> 3 Days Mount Emei Classic Hiking Tour

>> 4 Days Sichuan Buddhism Tour

Please note: 1. If you are in good physical condition, you can spend 3 days taking either Route A or Route B hiking all the way to Golden Summit of Mount Emei. 2. If you are lack of physical, you’d better choose Route C or Route D for 2 days to finish your pilgrimage visit.

Recommended Tours

Top 3 tours chosen by most customers to explore in the best way. Check the detailed itinerary, or tailor your own trip now with us.

Emei Mountain Hiking
3 Days Mount Emei Classic Walking Tour

Mount Emei

Golden Summit
5 Days Chengdu, Leshan & Mount Emei Tour

Chengdu / Leshan / Mt. Emei / Chengdu

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4 Days Sichuan Buddhism Tour

Chengdu / Leshan / Mount Emei / Chengdu

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Questions & Discussions

Following are latest questions and answers from our webusers and customers. You can learn many useful information from the discussion and cases. You can also join in the discussions or ask your own question. Our experts will help you ASAP.

Huazang Temple
Do monks still live there?
2018-04-01 06:21
Hi Catherine,

Thanks for your question. Yes, there are some monks living in Huazang Temple. But their living rooms and meditation chapels are not open for tourists.

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