China Holidays continues with presentations of the UNESCO sites in China. There are in total 45 sites and today we are listing China’s UNESCO Mountains. Enjoy!
1. Mount Tai (泰山)
Mount Tai is one of the five holy mountains of China and is regarded as the most important and holy of the five mountains. Mount Tai is associated with sunrise, birth and renewal and has been a place of worship in China for over 3,000 years. Mount Tai has always been a source of inspiration for artists, novelists and poets, including Mao Zedong. Mount Tai is located in Shandong Province and is engraved with symbols and inscriptions from Taoist, Confucius and Buddhist beliefs, making it a place of pilgrimage for many Chinese.
2. Huangshan/Yellow Mountain (黄山)
Huangshan is a mountain range in southern Anhui Province in eastern China. The mountains were carved by glaciers and uplifted sea dating back a 100 million years ago. Like Mount Tai, Huangshan is a source of inspiration for artists and literary people. It is possible to get to the foot of Huangshan mountain by train and by air from Shanghai, making it a highly accessible Chinese tourist site.
3. Mount Emei and the Leshan Buddha
The meaning of Mount Emei is lofty mountain. This description comes from the hazy clouds at the top of the mountain and for its high peak. Mount Emei is one of the four sacred Buddhist Mountains in China and is regarded as a place of enlightenment for Chinese and visitors alike. Mount Emei is home to the first Buddhist temple built in China built in the 1st Century. The surrounding area of the mountain peak is called the ‘Cloud Sea’ due to the fact that at the peak, clouds are present below the peak and above, a strange cloud formation.
The Leshan Buddha was built during the Tang Dynasty and is around half an hour from Mount Emei by car. The Buddha has been carved out of the side of a rock and is the tallest pre-modern statue in the world. The Buddha is in a seating position and has the Min River flowing at its feet. The Buddha statue was built in hopes of calming the turbulent river below. Due to mass rock being removed from the rock face into the river, the water did indeed calm, allowing for ships to pass through smoothly.
4. Wuyi Mountains (武夷山)
The Wuyi Mountains are a mountain range in Fujian province. The Wuyi Mountains are an area for biodiversity. The Wuyi Mountains are the largest and most representative example of subtropical and rainforest biodiversity in China. There is a range of rock formation in Wuyi also with some mountains being made of volcanic and plutonic rock; while others are made of red sandstone. The nine bend river cuts through the mountain range. There are many animals that live within the mountains of Wuyi, including leopards, bamboo snakes and South Chinese tigers.
5. Sanqing Shan (三清山)
Sanqing is a renowned Taoist sacred mountain in China, located in Jiangxi province. The name Sanqing means the ‘Three Pure Ones’, and is referring to the three main peaks at Sanqing. The mountain is famous for its biodiversity also, and has a wide range of geographical diversity.
6. Xinjiang Tianshan (新疆天山)
Tianshan lies in the north and west of the Taklaman Desert and lies in the Xinjiang autonomous region in west China. It stretches west out of China into central Asia and is a section of the Himalayas. Due to its high altitudes, Tianshan has unique natural forests which grow apples and walnuts. In Chinese mythology, it is said that the Queen Mother of the West guards the peach tress of immortality in the mountain range.
7. Mount Wutai (五台山)
Mount Wutai is one of the four sacred Buddhist Mountains in China. It is the most important place in China for monasteries and temples, having 53 sacred monasteries in total. The name Wutai means 5 platforms, and refers to the 5 flat-top peaks (north, south, east, west and central) which surround the Qingshui river. The north peak is highest of the peaks at over 3,000 metres. The most famous temple there is the Nanshan temple which was built during the Yuan Dynasty. Mount Wutai is located in Shanxi Province.
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