Peak Flown From Afar
In West Lake Scenic area in the southwest of Hangzhou, Feilai Feng, the Hill Flown From Afar, is notable because its limestone geology is different to that of its surroundings. With many caves the limestone has provided a suitable material for carving out enduring images of Buddhas.
Peak Flown From Afar is adjacent to Lingyin Temple and stands 209 meters tall. An interesting legend goes that, in the Eastern Jin Dynasty, the Indian monk Huili visited this limestone hill and noticed it looked exactly like one in his own country. Huili insisted that the peak had flown over from India and settled in Hangzhou.
On the hillside and inside the caves are more than 500 Buddhas carved during the Five Dynasties (907-960), the Song Dynasty (960-1279) and the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). The stone figures appear in a variety of poses: standing, squatting, sitting and sleeping. They are part of China’s National Cultural Heritage and are protected by the government.