Comments of the World Heritage Committee
The Buddhist temple standing on the summit of the beautiful Mount Emei in Sichuan Province was built in the 1st century and has since become the first of its kind in China. The addition of further temples turned the site into one of Buddhism’s holiest areas. Over the centuries, the cultural treasures grew in number. The most remarkable is the Leshan Giant Buddha, carved out of a hillside in the 8th century and looking down on the confluence of three rivers. Being 71 meters high, it is the largest Buddha in the world. Mount Emei is also notable for its exceptionally diverse vegetation, ranging from subtropical to subalpine coniferous forests. Some of the trees there are more than 1,000 years old.
Situated in Emeishan City, Sichuan Province, the Mount Emei covers an area of 154 square kilometers and gets the name for its two eyebrow-like peaks (the Chinese character Mei refers to the eyebrow). It is known as the most elegant mountain in China and reputed as a vegetable kingdom and geological museum. It is home of over 5,000 kinds of plants including some 3,200 species of high-grade ones, equal to the total number of plants in Europe in terms of varieties. The mountain also preserves a fairly complete sedimentary stratum from the Precambrian Era (about 600 million years ago).
The scenery is famous for being magnificent, elegant, and (many say) positively divine. Its highest point, the Ten-Thousand-Buddha Peak, is 3,099 meters above sea level. From the top of its main peak, called the Golden Summit, tourists can appreciate the “four wonders”, i.e. the sea of clouds, the sunrise, the halo of Buddha, and the Holy Lantern. Mount Emei is also one of the four famous mountains of Buddhism, with dozens of temples housing a large number of exquisite Buddhist cultural relics.
The Leshan Giant Buddha is located in southeast Leshan, at the confluence of the Dongmin, Qingyi and Dadu rivers. The statue began to be carved along the mountain in 713, or the first year of the Kaiyuan reign of the Tang Dynasty (618-907), and its construction lasted for 90 years. With a total height of 71 meters, it is the highest carved stone statue of Buddha in the world and forms a spectacular scene best described in the ancient phrase, “The Buddha seems like a mountain; and the mountain is a Buddha.” The statue demonstrates fluent lines and a symmetrical proportion. The figure looks solemn and kind. The meander core of the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC), cliff tombs of the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD), and Buddha statues, towers and temples of the Tang Dynasty (618-907) can also be found within and outside the Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Area.
Website of Mount Emei: www.china-emeishan.com
Website of the Leshan Giant Buddha: www.leshandafo.com
Emeishan is some 170 kilometers from Chengdu. The Xinnanmen, Gaoshengqiao and Ximen bus stations in Chengdu have buses heading for Emeishan City every half hour. Then tourists can change for the bus to the Baoguo Temple (the main gate of the Mount Emei Scenic Area). The Emeishan Railway Station on the Chengdu-Kunming Railway Line is only 10 kilometers away from the Baoguo Temple. There are cablecars to take you up the mountain. One can travel between Mount Emei and Leshan Giant Buddha by bus. In the downtown of Leshan City, tourists can get to the Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Area by taking public bus Nos. 3, 7, 8 and 13 or ferry.
The Delicacy Street in the downtown of Emeishan City and the “Emeishan Street of Famous and Special Snacks” in the Baoguo Temple Scenic Area are ideal places to try a wide range of local food. In the downtown of Leshan City, there are well-known dishes such as the Steamed Jiangtuan Fish, the Dongpo Cuttlefish, the Duck Breast with Ginger, the Pearl Fish, and the Tofu Jelly with Beef.
Emeishan has an abundance of medicinal materials such as Zhuyeqing Tea, the tuber of elevated gastrodia, and hemsleya, as well as various special local products including Freeze-Dried Konjac Jelly, oranges, and fresh bamboo shoots. In addition, the series of craftworks of Emeishan monkeys are also highly recommended.
The famous traditional local products of Leshan include Chinese gold thread, achyranthis bidentatae, two-lobed officinal magnolia bark, eucommia bark, and vermilion, as well as Zhuyeqing and Yunwu teas. It is advisable for tourists to select these from the local stores.
The Mount Emei is open throughout the year.
Admission for Mount Emei: 120 yuan
Telephone: 0086-833-5533355 Admission for Leshan Giant Buddha: 70 yuan