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World Mixed Cultural and Natural Heritage: Mt. Emei and Leshan Giant Buddha

09-27-2010 16:27 BJT

Watch video:China archives of world heritage -Emei Mountain and Leshan Giant Buddha

Assessment of the World Heritage Committee

In the 1st century, the first Buddhist temple of China was completed on the top of the scenic Mt. Emei. As other temples were gradually built on this mountain, Mt. Emei became one of the most sacred Buddhist places. Now, many centuries have passed, and a lot of cultural assets have massed on Mt. Emei. Of them, the most renowned is the Leshan Giant Buddha which was carved in the 8th century out of a giant mountain rock. The Buddha seems to be overlooking the spot where three rivers meet. With a body height of 71 meters, the Leshan Buddha is the largest Buddha statue in the world. Mt. Emei is also renowned in the world for its abundant plant species. From subtropical plants to sub-alpine coniferous forests, the plant resources on Mt. Emei are plentiful. The age of some trees has exceeded 1,000 years.

Mt. Emei

Chinese name: E Mei Shan He Le Shan Da Fo

English name: Mt. Emei and Leshan Giant Buddha

Code: 200-016

Based on the standards C(IV)(VI) and N(IV) for selecting cultural and natural heritage, Mt. Emei and Leshan Giant Buddha in Chengde were listed in the World Heritage List.

Introduction

Mt. Emei is also called the “Bright Light Mountain.” It is located in the transitional zone between the Sichuan Basin and the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in south-central Sichuan Province in western China. The altitude of the “Ten Thousand Buddha Summit,” the highest peak of Mt. Emei, is 3,099 meters. Mt. Emei enjoys a good reputation in the world for its beautiful natural sceneries and mysterious Buddhist characteristics. The beautiful landscapes and the centuries-old historical and cultural contents harmonized with each other giving Mt. Emei the title of “the Most Elegant Mountain in the World.”

Mt. Emei is located in an area where many natural elements mix together. The area has complicated biological catalogs and abundant species, especially unique species. The area preserves a complete subtropical vegetation system, and 87 percent of the area is covered by forests. Mt. Emei is home to 242 higher families and over 3,200 higher plant species, accounting for about 10 percent of China’s total plant species. Of them, over 100 species grow only on Mt. Emei or were discovered there, and many of the species were also named after Mt. Emei. Furthermore, Mt. Emei is also the habitat of many animal species, and so far, over 2,300 animal species have been discovered. Mt. Emei is a very important and significant place for studying the world’s biological catalogs.

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