Comments on Lushan National Park by the World Heritage Committee
The Lushan Mountain, in Jiangxi, is one of the spiritual centers of Chinese civilization. Buddhist and Taoist temples, along with landmarks of Confucianism, where the most eminent masters taught, blend effortlessly into a strikingly beautiful landscape which has inspired countless artists who developed the aesthetic approach to nature characteristic of Chinese culture.
Located in south Jiujiang City in north Jiangxi Province, the Lushan Mountain is close to the Poyang Lake in the east and the Teng-wang Pavilion in the south. It is famous for its cliffs, sea of clouds and waterfalls. The large rivers, lakes and mountains in the scenic area form one integrated mass and a world-famous summer resort. The renowned Lushan Mountain combines scenery, religion, education and culture.
The Lushan Natioanl Park presents the visitor with eight distinct kinds of sights, namely waterfalls, rock formations, plants, interesting geological features, rivers, cultural artefacts and villas.
It covers a total area of 302 square kilometers, of which 282 square kilometers is officially designated as mountainous. The main peak, Dahanyang, is 1,474 meters above sea level. “A misty land in spring, a green jade in summer, an intoxicating crimson in autumn and a white jade in winter” is a popular local saying and still the best description for the scenery of the Lushan Mountain. The white cranes at the Poyang Lake Migratory Birds Nature Reserve at the foot of the mountain account for 95 percent of the world’s total, forming the largest white crane population in the world.
The Lushan Mountain is also a famous religious sanctum. Spirituality began to prevail here from the 4th century; the number of temples on its slopes sometimes numbered as many as over 500. In 391 or the 16th year of the Taiyuan reign of the Eastern Jin (317-420), a famous Buddhist monk named Huiyuan (334-416) founded the Donglin Temple, symbolizing the beginning of the sinicization of Buddhism. Subsequently, the Lushan Mountain became the Buddhist center of south China. Temples and churches representing Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Christianity and Catholicism can still be found on the mountain. Thatfive religions can peacefully coexist on one mountain is a rare and wonderful thing.
The Bailudong (White Deer Cave) Academy, located under the Houping Mountain at the southern foot of the Wulao (Five-Old-Men) Peak of the Lushan Mountain, ranks first among the four major ancient colleges of China. It represents the 700 years’ development of the Song School. The college was built in 940 or the fourth year of the Shengyuan reign of the Southern Tang Dynasty (937-975). Li Bo (773-831), a writer of the Southern Tang Dynasty, lived a secluded life here in his early years in order to study. Zhu Xi (1130-1200), a master of the Neo-Confucianism of the Song Dynasty (960-1279), also spent a long period of quiet philosophical contemplation in this college.
From the 11th year (1885) of the Guang-xu reign of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), a number of priests and businessmen from Russia, Britain, America, France, Germany and Italy, as well as some important domestic figures, successively built themselves villas in various styles in the Guling Valley. Of these, the Meilu Villa and Chelman Villa are particularly fine examples and remain well-preserved.
The mountain boasts a long humanist history and is the cradle of traditional Chinese landscape poems. From the time of Tao Yuanming (365-427) of the Easten Jin Dynasty (317-420), and Xie Lingyun (385-433), many literary scholars climbed up the Lushan Mountain in order to appreciate the glorious views, resulting in a stream of many fine lyrics and odes.
Website of Lushan National Park: www.china-lushuan.com
The Changbei International Airport in Nanchang operates scheduled flights to such large and medium-sized cities as Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Xiamen and Haikou. The Jiujiang Lushan Airport, located to the west of the Lushan Mountain, has scheduled flights between Shanghai and Jiujiang. One can also go to Jiujiang or Lushan Station by means of the Beijing-Kowloon, the Wuchang-Jiujiang or the Wuchang Railway-Shantou railways. There are also some 20 ships that ply along the Yangtze River and call at Jiujiang on a daily basis.
The most famous delicacies of the Lushan Mountain are those called Shiji, Shiyu and Shi’er in Chinese. The Shiji is a kind of frog living in the caves of the cliff, the Shiyu fish is found in the springs and waterfalls, and Shi’er refers to a kind of wild plant belonging to the same family as Jew’s-ear. The best-known local dishes include the Stewed Shiji, the Fried Shiyu Fish With Egg, and the Stewed Hen With Stone Fungus.
There are some 1,000 commercial network spots on the Lushan Mountain. In the Guling Center there is a commercial street filled with markets and hotels, providing visitors a wide range of commodities and accommodation. In addition, souvenirs can be picked up at many of the scenic spots. The main special local products, namely the Shiji, Shiyu and Shi’er as well as Lushan Yunwu Tea, all make good gifts.
Admission for Lushan Mountain: 180 yuan/person in busy season, 135 yuan/person in low season