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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

Martial arts

Chinese martial arts, which has a long tradition and derived from the one branch of Buddhism and absorbed the dynamic exercise of Taoists and the skills of attack and defense from the military, has developed into one of the three schools of Chinese martial arts, the Emeiquan and passed downed until today.


Mt. Emei, as a world famous Buddhist holy site, has a close connection with the praise, narrative and transmission of celebrities, scholars and poets. Famous poets such as Li Bai and Su Dongpo wrote many poems that praised Mt. Emei, which are still very popular among people. Furthermore, there is also the former residence of Guo Moruo in Shawan Town, which is not far away from the Er’eshan Mountain (Suishan Mountain in ancient times). Guo Moruo wrote many poems about Mt. Emei and is indeed a poet of Mt. Emei. The autograph “world famous” signed by Guo has become a rare treasure.

Leshan Giant Buddha

The Leshan Giant Buddha is located at the confluence of the Xiwan Peak on Lingyun Mountain, which is situated on the east of Mt. Emei, and the Binmian River, Dadu River and Qingyi River. The Buddha statue is a Maitreya sitting statue, which was carved around the mountain in the early eighth century and constructed over a period of 90 years. The Leshan Giant Buddha, which is 71 meters high and 60 meters high in sitting stature, is the tallest stone-carved Buddha around the world. The Giant Buddha carries the Jiuxiang Mountain on its back and faces the confluence of three rivers, the lines are smooth and its proportion is well-balanced. The Giant Buddha looks solemn and respectful and occupies the south-north walls and has 90 stone-carved statues from the Tang Dynasty. Among them, the “Pure Land” Shrine and the “Three Buddha” are excellent artworks and all have artistic value.

There are many historic sites in the scenic spot of the Leshan Giant Buddha including the meander core from the Qin Dynasty, cliff-tombs from the Han Dynasty, the Buddha, towers and temples from the Tang Dynasty and Jiuding City where the Song Dynasty fought against the Yuan Dynasty. The manmade landscapes are dense and integrated with the natural landscape, and both are glorious.

Natural heritage

Stratum and topography

Mt. Emei preserves a relatively complete sedimentary stratum from the early Precambrian era and provides rare historical materials for the research of the earth’s crust and its history of biological evolution. The complex tectonic deformation caused by the movements of Yanshan Mountain and the Himalayas also provide sufficient basis for the research of the surface structure of the crust. Meanwhile, the magnificent various modern landscapes formed by the Neotectonics Movement under the geological background of Mt. Emei’s geological structure provided the prerequisites for the thriving and breeding of biologic groups and the establishment of unique ecosystems in the mountainous region.

Biological diversity

Mt. Emei is located in the intersection region of various natural elements. It has complex floristic elements, abundant biological species including numerous endemic species, and preserves a complete vertical belt of subtropical vegetation. The vegetation of Mt. Emei from the foot of the mountain to the top are evergreen broad-leaf forests, mixed evergreen and deciduous broadleaf forests, mixed needleleaf and broadleaf forests and dark coniferous forests. The forest cover rate of Mt. Emei reaches 87 percent. It possesses a total of 242 families of higher plants including more than 3,200 species, accounting for about 10 percent of the total number of plants in China. There are more than 1,000 kinds of plants only produced on Mt. Emei or were first discovered there and named after the mountain. A total of 31 plant species on Mt. Emei including Chinese dove trees, alsophila spinulosas, ginkgos, kingdonia unifloras, katsura trees and euptelea pleiospermum are under first grade state protection. Several kinds of plants have maintained certain original shapes such as magnolias, cotton roses, mignonettes, michelia floribunda, disporum, photinia, hemlocks and Chinese magnoliavine fruits, and are discontinuous distribution groups opposed to North America, and have a high scientific and conservation value.

Mt. Emei has complex fauna and rich animal species. It possesses a lot of old, rare and endangered species and a lot of endemic species. It is considered as the natural gene pool of animal genes. It has more than 2,300 kinds of known animal species including 51 kinds of land animals, 256 kinds of birds, 34 kinds of reptiles, 33 kinds of amphibians, more than 1,000 kinds of insects and 60 kinds of fish, as well as 157 kinds of rare species such as lesser pandas, forest musk deer, macaques, serows, silver pheasants, Chinese copper pheasants, crimson-bellied tragopans, as well as Emei mustache toads and Rana adenopleura. Therefore, Mount Emei has an important status and significance of special protection.

Medicinal materials in Mt. Emei

Mt. Emei has variety of medicinal plants with complex species and compositions. It has a lot of rare species and specialty varieties. According to the investigations and research during the past half a century, the species of medicinal plants on Mt. Emei increased from 207 in 1952 to 2,050 in 1995. These medicinal plants belong to 212 families respectively including 129 families and 1225 kinds of dicotyledonous plants. Medicinal plants that people are willing to seek include the emodins, Emei coptis roots, Emei notoginsengs, gastrodia tubers, geraniums, Chinese caterpillar fungus, Emei phellodendron amurenses, Emei ginsengs, and radix hemsleyae.

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