Jiuhuashan Tourist Scenic Area

Jiuhua Mountain Temple

Jiuhua Mountain Temple by Toby Simkin. Sourced via Flickr under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License.

Jiuhua Mountain is one of the four sacred mountains in Chinese Buddhism. It is located in Anhui province. The area is famous for it's mountain landscapes and ancient temples. Many of the temples and shrines here are dedicated in honour of the bodhisattva called Ksitigrabha (or in Chinese Dìzàng - 地藏) who is the protector of souls in hell. The most important peak in this mountain range is Tiantai which, though not the highest peak in the Jiuhua mountains, is popular with Buddhist pilgrims. Myth and legend tells of the poet Li Baj who visited the Jiuhua mountains during the Tang dynasty. While there, he wrote the words, "妙有分二气,灵山开九华." This translates as, "Magic is divided into two branches, sacred mountain generates nine glories." Thus Jiuhua gained it's name - Jiuhua meaning "nine glories."

Jiuhua Mountain is located in the south-eastern part of Chizhou city in Anhui Province. The mountain covers an area of some 120 square kilometres. In 719AD a prince from Korea called Qiaoque came to Jiuhua Mountain to improve himself. He stayed here for five years and when he died, aged 99 years, his body remained intact. It was thought, by the other monks, that he resembled Dizang, the Bodhisattva. Thus the monks began the belief that he was in fact Dizang reincarnate. For this reason, so many temples on the mountain are dedicated to this Bodhisattva. At the peak of the area's importance during the Ming and Qing dynasties, there were as many as 360 temples here housing four to five thousand monks and nuns.

Map showing location of Jiuhuashan Tourist Scenic Area

Above: Location of Jiuhuashan Tourist Scenic Area in Chizhou, Anhui, China