Parental home of Guo Moruo

Mount Emeishan, the well-known mountain dedicated to the bodhisattva Puxian, stands 160km/100 miles south-west of Chengdu; its highest peak, the Peak of the Ten Thousand Buddhas (Wanfo Ding), reaches a height of 3099m/10,170ft. It is revered by Chinese Buddhists as one ofthe four Holy Mountains (the others being Mount Wutaishan in Shanxi province, Mount Jiuhuashan in Anhui province and Mount Putuoshan in Zhejiang province), and is shrouded in myths and legends.

The first Taoist temples on Mount Emeishan were built during the Eastern Han dynasty (25-220). From the Tang period (618-907) onwards, however, the mountain became one of the major destinations of Buddhist pilgrims because of the 200 or so shrines which had been built on it over the years.

Twenty temples and monasteries still survive, and the provincial government has plans to restore them.

Mount Emeishan

From Chengdu the visitor can take the train to Emei and then proceed by bus to the cable-railway station from where the cars travel up to the top of Mount Emeishan.

However, the only real way to enjoy the fascinating flora and fauna is to make the ascent on foot. Take the bus from Emei to Baogua at thefoot ofthe mountain. The climb up the northern face is 44km/27 miles, the southern face 66km/40 miles. Every two to four miles there is a temple, monastery or snack-bar offering food and overnight accommodation if required.

Keep an eye out for monkeys, which are very fond of picking pockets and rifling rucksacks.

Parental home of Guo Moruo Photo Gallery

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