Administratively, Mt. Emei is located near the county-level city of the same name (Emeishan City), which is in turn part of the prefecture-level city of Leshan. It was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.
Description by UNESCO
Mount Emei (Emeishan) is an area of exceptional cultural significance as it is the place where Buddhism first became established on Chinese territory and from where it spread widely through the East. The first Buddhist temple in China was built on the summit of Mount Emei in the 1st century CE. It became the Guangxiang Temple, receiving its present royal name of Huazang in 1614. The addition of more than 30 other temples including the Wannian Temple founded in the 4th century containing the 7.85m high Puxian bronze Buddha of the 10th century, and garden temples including the Qingyin Pavilion complex of pavilions, towers and platforms dating from the early 6th century; the early 17th century Baoguo Temple and the Ligou Garden (Fuhu Temple) turned the mountain into one of Buddhism's holiest sites. The most remarkable manifestation of this is the 71 meter tall Giant Buddha of Leshan. Carved in the 8th century CE on the hillside of Xijuo Peak overlooking the confluence of three rivers, it is the largest Buddhist sculpture in the world. A contemporary account of the creation of the Giant Buddha is preserved in the form of an inscribed tablet. Associated monuments include the 9th century Lingbao Pagoda and the Dafo (Giant Buddha) Temple dating from the early Qing Dynasty. The Wuyu Temple contains two important statues: the 9th century Dashi bronze Buddha and the 11th century Amithabha statue group, cast in iron and gilded. Over five hundred Han Dynasty tombs of the 1st to 4th centuries, notable for their fine carvings and calligraphic inscriptions are located on Mahao Crag.
Mount Emei is an area of striking scenic beauty. It is also of great spiritual and cultural importance because of its role in the introduction of Buddhism into China. The conscious siting of so many of the cultural monuments, particularly of traditional architecture, within the natural environment makes it a cultural landscape of very high order.
Mount Emei is also notable for its exceptionally rich vegetation, ranging from subtropical evergreen forests to subalpine pine forests. Covering an area of 15,400 ha in two discrete areas ¨C the Mount Emei and the Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Areas ¨C the property is an area of natural beauty into which the human element has been integrated with skill and subtlety.
Features of Mount Emei
Mt. Emei is located in Leshan City, Sichuan Province. It is towering, beautiful, old and mysterious. It is like a huge green screen standing in the southwest of the Chengdu Plain. Looking its winding and beautiful figure, you will find that it resembles very much an eyebrow of a girl. It is the highest one among all the famous sight-seeing mountains in China.
On the mountain there are four scenic regions: Baoguo Temple, Wannian Temple, Qingyin Pavilion and Golden Summit. Its main peak, the Golden Summit, is 3079.3 meters (10,103 feet) above the sea level, seemingly reaching the sky. Standing on the top of it, you can enjoy the snowy mountains in the west and the vast plain in the east. In addition in Golden Summit there are four spectacles: clouds sea, sunrise, Buddha rays and saint lamps. In 1996 Mt. Emei was enlisted in the world natural and cultural heritage by the UNESCO.
Mt. Emei is a wondrous world. The trees are verdant almost all the year round; the waterfalls are splendid; the whole scenery is beautiful and quiet. The landscape varies according to the seasons, the height and the climate. The poet Tan Zhongyue living in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) once concluded the beautiful landscape in Emei Mountain into ten scenic sights. Today more and more new scenery has been discovered and given beautiful names such as Listen to the Spring beside the Tiger Brook, Plank Road above Longjiang River and Flying Waterfall Hanging over Dragon Gate. Go there and use your imagination, maybe you will discover a new sight by yourself.
Mt. Emei has a long history. According to the archaeological material, people in remote ancient times have lived in this place. As early as 5,000 years ago, the Emperor Xuanyuan paid two visits here to learn Tao thoughts. 1,900 years ago, a practitioner built the first monastery here, thus marked the mountain the birthplace of Buddhism in Yangtze Valley. Today the Buddhist culture has become the main body of Emei Culture. The Buddhist architecture, music, grottos and paintings in the mountain all reflect rich religious flavor and culture.