China is a vast country with many mountains. Some are scenic and magnificent, while some are related to religion and culture. China Highlights has listed the following most famous mountains in China, including four Buddhist mountains.
It is said that Huangshan is the place where the Yellow Emperor, the mythical ancestor of the Chinese, lived, refined precious medicines and became a supernatural being. Outstanding natural beauty is Huangshan's number one feature. The glow of the sunrise and sunset draws the crowds to popular viewing spots.
The word "tai" in Chinese means stability and peace and the name Tai'an is attributed to the saying: "If Mount Tai is stable, so is the entire country". Many ancient Chinese emperors performed mountain worship ceremonies on Mount Tai. It is said to be the first and foremost thing for emperors to do when they ascend to the throne, because Mount Tai is seen as the symbol of the county's peace and prosperity.
Mount Wutai in Shanxi Province, Mount Jiuhua in Anhua Province, Mount Putuo in Zhejiang Province and Mount Emei in Sichuan Province are regarded as the four sacred mountains in Chinese Buddhism. With the introduction of Buddhism into China, the construction process of temples and other Buddhist venues began from the Han Dynasty about 1,800 years ago. The mountains are home to many of China's most important monasteries and temples.
Mount Wutai has an abundance of smaller peaks - many odd-shaped - rock outcroppings, steep cliffs, and beautiful caves, ponds of various sizes, bubbling springs and spring-fed streams. Many temples on Mount Wutai have, as an extra feature, pagodas. These vary in material from wood to brick to iron to stone, including more exotic materials such as glazed glass and crystal glass.
The mountain is characterized by lofty ancient trees, impressive waterfalls, pristine brooks and numerous Buddhist temples. The mountain enjoys great popularity among Buddhists in China. Every morning streams of Buddhism pilgrims armed with joss sticks conquer the steep stairs of the mountain and swarm into the countless temples. The numerous monkeys on the mountain are also a notable feature.
There are fantastic vistas of the surrounding seascapes from Mount Putuo. It is home to the most famous Guanyin (a Bodhisattva) temple in all over China, and a 33-meter-tall Guanyin statue. It has many beaches among which Hundred Step Beach and Thousand Step Beach are the two major ones with facilities such as deckchairs, parasols and water activities.
Literally meaning "Nine Glorious Mountains", Mount Jiuhua is home to ancient caves, waterfalls, old pines, streams and exuberant growths of bamboo. Within the richly variegated landscape, many ancient temples and nunneries nestle on the mountain. Pious Buddhists often climb to Greater Tiantai peak, which is regarded as the most important, although it is not the tallest of Mount Jiuhua.