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Mount Emei

Mount Emei

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"峨眉山" redirects here. For the county-level city that Mount Emei is located in, see Emeishan City
Mount Emei is a mountain
Image:Himalaya_annotated.jpg|thumb|right|The Himalayan mountain range with Mount Everestrect 58 14 160 49 Chomo Lonzorect 200 28 335 52 Makalurect 378 24 566 45 Mount Everestrect 188 581 920 656 Tibetan Plateaurect 250 406 340 427 Rong River...

 in Sichuan
' , known formerly in the West by its postal map spellings of Szechwan or Szechuan is a province in Southwest China with its capital in Chengdu...

 province, China. Mount Emei is often written as 峨眉山 and occasionally 峩嵋山 or 峩眉山 but all three are translated as Mount Emei or Mount Emeishan: 峨嵋 means "lofty brow", but the mountain's name is merely a toponym that carries no additional meaning.

Orographically, Mt. Emei sits at the western rim of the Sichuan Basin
Sichuan basin
The Sichuan Basin is a lowland region in southwestern China. Despite its historical name, it is not only synonymous to Sichuan province, comprising its central and eastern portions as well as part of Chongqing Municipality...

. The mountains west of it are known as Daxiangling
Daxiangling , or Daxiang Range is a fairly small mountain range in China's Sichuan Province. It runs in the general western and northwestern direction from the famous sacred Mount Emei, and is part of the western mountainous rim of the Sichuan Basin....

A large surrounding area of countryside is geologically known as the Permian Emeishan Large Igneous Province, a large igneous province
Large igneous province
A Large Igneous Province is an extremely large accumulation of igneous rocks—intrusive, extrusive, or both—in the earth's crust...

 generated by the Emeishan Traps
Emeishan Traps
The Emeishan Traps constitute a flood basalt volcanic province, or large igneous province, in southwestern China, centered in Sichuan province. It is sometimes referred to as the Permian Emeishan Large Igneous Province or variations of that term....

 volcanic eruptions during the Permian Period. At 3099 metres (10,167 ft), Mt. Emei is the highest of the Four Sacred Buddhist Mountains of China
Sacred Mountains of China
The Sacred Mountains of China are divided into two groups, one associated with Taoism and the other with Buddhism. The group associated with Taoism is known as the Five Great Mountains , whereas the group associated with Buddhism is referred to as the Four Sacred Mountains of Buddhism .The sacred...


Administratively, Mt. Emei (Emeishan) is located near the county-level city
County-level city
A county-level city is a county-level administrative division of mainland China. County-level cities are usually governed by prefecture-level divisions, but a few are governed directly by province-level divisions....

 of the same name (Emeishan City
Emeishan (city)
Emeishan is a county-level city in Sichuan province, People's Republic of China. It is administered by the prefecture-level city Leshan. Its population in 1990 stood at 396,445. It is named after Mount Emei, a famous mountain located within its administration....

), which is part of the prefecture-level city
Prefecture-level city
A prefectural level city , prefectural city or prefectural level municipality is an administrative division of the People's Republic of China, ranking below a province and above a county in China's administrative structure. Prefectural level cities form the second level of the administrative...

 of Leshan
-Administrative divisions:-Transport:There is a passenger rail line that serves the Mianyang–Chengdu–Leshan inter-city area.The Chengdu-Leshan Highway with a total length of 160 kilometers, was finished on January 14th, 2000...


Mt. Emei was made a UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

 in 1996.

As the bodhimaṇḍa of Samantabhadra

Mount Emei is one of the Four Sacred Buddhist Mountains of China, and is traditionally regarded as the bodhimaṇḍa
Bodhimaṇḍa is a term used in Buddhism meaning the "position of awakening." According to Haribhadra, it is "a place used as a seat, where the essence of enlightenment is present." Although spelled similarly, a bodhimaṇḍa is not synonymous with a bodhimaṇḍala, which is a "circle of...

, or place of enlightenment, of the bodhisattva
In Buddhism, a bodhisattva is either an enlightened existence or an enlightenment-being or, given the variant Sanskrit spelling satva rather than sattva, "heroic-minded one for enlightenment ." The Pali term has sometimes been translated as "wisdom-being," although in modern publications, and...

Samantabhadra , is a bodhisattva in Mahayana Buddhism associated with Buddhist practice and meditation. Together with Shakyamuni Buddha and fellow bodhisattva Manjusri he forms the Shakyamuni trinity in Buddhism...

. Samantabhadra is known in Mandarin as Pǔxián Púsà (普賢菩薩).

16th and 17th century sources allude to the practice of martial arts
Martial arts
Martial arts are extensive systems of codified practices and traditions of combat, practiced for a variety of reasons, including self-defense, competition, physical health and fitness, as well as mental and spiritual development....

 in the monasteries of Mount Emei made the earliest extant reference to the Shaolin Monastery as Chinese boxing's place of origin.

Buddhist architecture on Emei

This is the location of the first Buddhist temple built in China in the 1st century CE.
The site has seventy-six Buddhist monasteries of the Ming and Qing period, most of them located near the mountain top. The monasteries demonstrate a flexible architectural style that adapts to the landscape. Some, such as the halls of Baoguosi, are built on terraces of varying levels, while others, including the structures of Leiyinsi, are on raised stilts. Here the fixed plans of Buddhist monasteries of earlier periods were modified or ignored in order to make full use of the natural scenery. The buildings of Qingyinge are laid out in an irregular plot on the narrow piece of land between the Black Dragon River and the White Dragon River. The site is large and the winding foot path is 50 km, taking several days to walk.

Cable car
Gondola lift
A gondola lift is a type of aerial lift, normally called a cable car, which is supported and propelled by cables from above. It consists of a loop of steel cable that is strung between two stations, sometimes over intermediate supporting towers. The cable is driven by a bullwheel in a terminal,...

s ease the ascent to the two temples at Jinding (3,077 m), an hour's hike from the mountain's peak.

Sunrise and clouds sea

Great spectacles of Mount Emei include the sunrise and Clouds Sea seen from the Golden Summit of the mountain.

The sunrise is very varied, but optimally begins with the ground and sky being in the same dark purple, soon showing rosy clouds, followed by a bright purple arc and then a semicircle where the sun is coming up.

The Clouds Sea includes several cloud phenomena, e.g. clouds appearing in the sky above, in addition to the regular clouds beneath.


The summit of Mount Emei has an alpine subarctic climate
Subarctic climate
The subarctic climate is a climate characterized by long, usually very cold winters, and short, cool to mild summers. It is found on large landmasses, away from the moderating effects of an ocean, generally at latitudes from 50° to 70°N poleward of the humid continental climates...

Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

 Dwc), with long, cold (but not severely so) winters, and short, cool summers. The monthly daily average temperature ranges from −5.7 °C in January to 11.6 °C (52.9 °F), and an annual mean of 3.07 °C (37.5 °F). Precipitation is common year-round, but due to the influence of the monsoon
Monsoon is traditionally defined as a seasonal reversing wind accompanied by corresponding changes in precipitation, but is now used to describe seasonal changes in atmospheric circulation and precipitation associated with the asymmetric heating of land and sea...

, rainfall is especially heavy in summer, and more than 70% of the annual total occurs from June to September.

Indigenous animals

Visitors to Mount Emei will likely see dozens of Tibetan Macaque
Tibetan macaque
The Tibetan macaque , also known as the Chinese stump-tailed macaque or Milne-Edwards' macaque, is found from eastern Tibet east to Guangdong and north to Shaanxi in China and has recently been reported from north-eastern India. This species lives in subtropical forests at altitude that range from...

s who can often be viewed taking food from tourists. Local merchants sell nuts for tourists to feed the monkeys. Some monkeys may be seen eating human food such as potato chips and even drinking soda from discarded bottles.

The Emei Shan Liocichla, a passerine
A passerine is a bird of the order Passeriformes, which includes more than half of all bird species. Sometimes known as perching birds or, less accurately, as songbirds, the passerines form one of the most diverse terrestrial vertebrate orders: with over 5,000 identified species, it has roughly...

 bird is named after the site.

Further reading

External links