Kingdom of the Buddhism - Mount Putuo
2013-11-25 Ada Tours Zhejiang 1353
Deriving its name from a sacred Buddhist mountain at the center of the island, Mount Putuo is an island in Zhejiang province. It is a renowned site in Chinese Buddhism that covers about 12.5 square kilometers and has many famous and sacred temples, and it is considered the bodhimanda of Avalokitesvara (Guanyin), a revered Bodhisattva in many parts of East Asia. Its main peak, the Peak of Buddhist Top, is 300 meters above sea level.
Putuo is covered with many temples and monasteries, displaying the beauty between sea and mountain. Many monks and nuns from all over the country, and abroad, go to great lengths to live and practice there. The 33 meter tall statue of the Guan Yin at Zizhulin is admired by lots of visitors.
Fayu Monastery is located at the foot of Fodingshan (Foding mountain), at the north end of 1000 step Beach. While Huiji Monastery is located near the top of Fodingshan. The lazy can reach the temple by cable car. More active visitors and pilgrims take the concrete steps from near Fayu Temple. It takes about 1 hour to climb the mountain. If you are interested in old military installations, turn right soon after the start of this stair ascent up a smaller set of stone steps. After 10-15 minutes, this continues through a series of anti-ship and anti-aircraft gun emplacements with gunner accommodation and ammunition stowage built into the cliffs.
Puji Monastery, located at the center of the island, is the most accessible and famous monastery on Putuoshan. A public ritual performed by the monks runs from 4:30AM to 7AM. It is crowded at this time, so remember to visit the temple outside these hours unless you are interested in the ceremony. For other Monasteries, if you don`t want to meet much people and want to explore the quiet monasteries, try to walk around. There are nearly 80 other quiet and nice monasteries to explore in the forests.
Speaking of the forests, the center of the island is covered with rich green forests that form a tranquil setting appropriate to a place of quiet religious contemplation. The only surviving specimen of Putuo hornbeam, a critically endangered species lives here.
It is here that magnificent and protected hornbeams grow as well as the famous one-thousand-year-old camphor tree, a particularly fine tree species with a circumference measuring 6 meters (20 feet).
The sandy shores of the island are also special features and particularly attractive to tourists are the bays known as "The Thousand-Step Sands" with its 1.5 kilometer (0.9 mile) beach and the smaller "Hundred-Step Sands". Hundred Step Beach charges for entry and has facilities such as deckchairs and parasols, and activities such as a banana boat and quad bikes. These fine beaches are very popular with bathers and also have entertainment facilities.
Mount Putuo is a tourist site for those in search of rare mountain beauty and tranquil walks among historical and religious relics. Saturated with the fragrance of incense and strains of Buddhist chants, Mountain Putuo now offers a spiritual sanctuary contrast to the wafting, exhaust fumes and the din of auto horns that haunt many cities we live.