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Top Choice 01/30/2015 World Heritage China Part 10- Mt. Emei and Leshan Giant Buddha


01-30-2015 22:22 BJT

(3) Mt. Emei has a variety of plants and typical subtropical vegetations.

The vegetation on Mt. Emei has a unique position and significance in the world:

(I) Mt. Emei has the world's most typical and best preserved subtropical vegetation and a original and complete subtropical forest belt, including evergreen broad-leaved forests, a mixed forest of evergreen broad-leaved forests and broadleaved deciduous forests, as well as a mixed forest of coniferous forests and broad-leaved forests from bottom to top.

(II) The plant species are abundant, with more than 3,200 known higher plants from 242 families growing in the peculiar and diverse forests. The mountain which is only 154 square kilometers is unique and the only one in the world's subtropics regions. Not only are the plant types and species rich here, but the animal species are also extremely rich.

(III) There are also numerous original and endemic species, including over 100 higher plants. There is a variety of ancient and endangered plant species, among which, 31 are under national protection.

(IV) The flora of Mt. Emei is located in the Himalayas in China and the China-Japan floristic sub-region, and has important value for researching the world's biota.

(4) Mt. Emei is a bank of animal genes

Animals on Mt. Emei are from the transitional zone between the Palaearctic realm and the Oriental realm, but are closer to the Oriental realm with significant and typical characteristics. First, it has complex fauna, complete and rich species, and is a concentrated distribution area which is rare in the world. Second, it has significant regional distribution with clear horizontal and vertical belts, and has fauna from East Asia, South Asia and from plateaus. Third, it has many ancient, rare and endangered species, endemic species, type species and species from the Oriental region. Fourth, the effective conservation of the ancient and rare species has retained the original ecosystem and is an existing gene bank of animals. It also has high scientific value and is worthy of being protected.

(5) Mt. Emei has abundant relics of historical and Buddhist culture.

Mt. Emei has a long cultural history. According to available archaeological data, ancient ancestors had engaged in activities here about 10,000 years ago. Entering civilized society, there is more than 2,000 years of human history verified based on historical documents and relics. In such a long period of history, ancient ancestors have created glorious historical culture, leaving behind rich historical heritage. The introduction of Buddhism and the construction and prosperity of temples have added magical color for Mt. Emei, a magnificent and beautiful mountain. Religious culture, especially Buddhist culture, is the main part of the history and culture of the mountain. Buildings, statues, Buddhist implements, rituals, music and paintings all show the strong religious cultural flavor and vibrant color.

The art of temple buildings has fully highlighted the Buddhist culture of Mt. Emei and are special landscapes integrated with the natural environment and landscapes on the mountain. The mountain has more than 30 temples including 10 large scale temples with a long history. These temples have local architectural styles and are elegant, simple and unique in the light of local conditions. The location selection, design and construction all show the ingenuity, dignity and beauty of the buildings. Therefore, they can be called the model of the temple architecture in China's famous mountain landscapes.

Compared with other mountain landscapes in China, it is rare that Mt. Emei has abundant historical and cultural relics and Buddhist heritage, which is the crystallization and treasure of the long historical culture of Mt. Emei. Among them, many Buddhist relics and temple buildings have provided valuable information and evidence for researching the prosperity and development of Mt. Emei Buddhism, as well as the entire Buddhist history.

The Leshan Giant Buddha is characterized by the organic combination of human heritage quintessence and natural heritage, integrating the mountain with water. There is one historical relic under first-grade national protection and four that are under second-grade national protection within 2.5 square kilometers in the scenic spot, which is across Leshan City, a well-known historical and cultural city in China. Centered on Buddha statues, the bas-reliefs on precipices from the Tang Dynasty, is a museum with 2,000 years of history, preserving the meander core dug by Li Bing, an official from the Qin Dynasty, the cliff tombs of the Han Dynasty, the Buddha statues, pagodas and temples of the Tang Dynasty, and the architectural complexes of the Ming and Qing dynasties. The cultural relics related to China's famous historical figures are very rich and unique. It is an abundant museum and has 7,226 collections, among which, many are rare collections from home and abroad.

Cultural heritage

Buddhist culture

The splendid and fantastic Mt. Emei attracted a large number of followers, pilgrims, literatus, scholars and Buddhists throughout the ages. They all marveled at the beauty of Mt. Emei and left a lot of works and created the excellent Mt. Emei culture, which is famous around the world.

In the middle of the first century, Buddhism was introduced to Mt. Emei from India through the southern Silk Road and Pu Gong. An herbalist established the Puguang Hall in today’s Jinxiang. In the third century, the theory of the Samantabhadra belief spread in the mountain and Huichi, a Chinese monk, established the Puxian Temple (today’s Wannian Temple) below the Guanxinpo. In the middle of the sixth century, the world Buddhist focus began to shift from India to China, and Sichuan became the center of Chinese Buddhism and temples began to appear everywhere. It is said that there are more than 100 temples in the history and in the eight century, the Chan sect was the most flourishing sect of Buddhists and unified the mountain. In the middle of the ninth century, Song Taizu Zhao Kuangyin sent a group of monks, which was led by Sheng Jiye, to visit India. When they returned, Jiye went to Mt. Emei to built temples, and translated and spread Buddhist scripture. At the same time, a 62 ton and 7.85 meters giant copper Samantabhadra Buddha statue was constructed and enshrined in today’s Wannian Temple, which has become an excellent piece of work among the Buddha statues on Mt. Emei, and has a great cultural and artistic value. For thousands of years, Mt. Emei, the Buddhist holy site, is as famous as the “Samantabhadra Taoist Rites” and Mt. Wutai in Shanxi Province, Mt. Putuo in Zhejiang Province, and Mt. Jiuhua in Anhui Province, which are known as the four mountains of Chinese Buddhism.

Throughout its long, Mt. Emei not only collected abundant Buddhist cultural treasures, but left many precious cultural relics. There are 30 temples that exist in the scenic spot, with an area of 100,000 square meters. They all have a variety of features and characteristics. The Feilai Hall of the 30 temples and the Wuliangzhuan Hall in the Wannian Temple are under the first and second grade state protection. There are many kinds of Buddhist cultural relics, for instance, the six meter high and seven square and 14 floors, and the inside and outside, casted the Avatamsaka Sutra and the copper Huanyan Tower, which has 4,700 Buddha statues, the copper-casted Buddha statues in the Ming Dynasty in the Wannian Temple as well as the Palmleaf Manuscript presented by the king of the Siam in the Ming Dynasty are all treasures. There are 164 cultural relics and historic sites on Mt. Emei, and the collections of the temples and museums have reached over 6,890, including more than 890 under state grade protection. They all have a different historical, cultural and artistic value.

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