Wutai Mountain has the longest and most prestigious history in the four well-known Buddhist Mountains. Mount Wutai is located in Wutai County in Shanxi Province, about 120 kilometers north of the city of Taiyuan. It consists of five platform-shaped peaks, of which, the highest, at 3,058 meters above sea level, is called the "roof of North China." The weather here is cold and the peaks are snowcapped all year round. Tsacehe slopes are thickly forested. The mountain is still one of the most popular tourist attractions of Taiyuan.
Legend says that a Manjusri (bodhisattva of Wisdom) visited this mountain and decided to stay. Being the most famous of the four mountains in China that are sacred to Buddhists (the others are Mount Emei in Sichuan Province, Mount Jiuhua in Anhui Province, and Mount Putuo in Zhejiang Province), Mount Wutai draws pilgrims from China and other Asian countries to come and pay homage.
The first monasteries and shrines built on the mountain date back to the first century A.D. During the Tang Dynasty, when Buddhism enjoyed its zenith, there were more than 360 monasteries and shrines housing over two thousand monks and nuns. There are now forty-seven operating monasteries with over a hundred monks and nuns. On entering the town of Taihuai, one is struck by its Buddhist rituals: the burning of incense, the tolling of bells in the morning, and the beating of drums in the evening.
Admission: 168RMB (1st April to 31st October), 140RMB (1st November to next 31st March)
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