Wu Tai Shan Pilgrimage

Wutai Shan means Five Plateau Mountain, the highest of which stands at 3,058 m. It is located in Shanxi Province in northwestern China. It is regarded as the domain of the Bodhisattva Manjusri - an emanation of wisdom. It is blessed with stunning scenery, cultural relics, and classical architecture. The town of Taihuai is nestled in the mountains at the centre of the park and offers a variety of accommodation options. 

Getting There

By train Some trains go to Wutai Shan (50 km away. From the station to Taihuai village by bus takes an hour approx.). Major train stations in the vicinity are Taiyuan and Datong; buses and taxis run from either city. A bus from Taiyuan to Taihuai will cost around 70 Yuan and takes 5 hours. 
By plane
Taiyuan is the nearest airport.  

Getting In

Compulsory entry ticket to Taihuai Village cost 168 Yuan and 50 Yuan for unlimited bus shuttle services within the village. 

Getting Around

Bus services from Taihuai Village to the Mountain Peaks start at 0630hrs and tickets cost around 70 Yuan for each individual destination. At least 1 day is needed for viewing the peaks and another 1.5 day needed for visiting temples within Taihuai Village. The last bus leaves from Taihuai Village for Taiyuan at 1530hrs. 

General

There are about a dozen temples in Taihuai. To the west, next to the bell tower, Xiantong Si is the largest and one of the oldest of the temples at Wutai Shan. Worth climbing the belltower for a  view of the town and mountains. Also be sure to visit the Tong Dian (Bronze Hall), which is lined with thousands of miniature statues said to symbolize the myriad bodhisattvas to whom Manjusri read the Buddhist scriptures while he lived on Wutai Shan. Close by is Tayuan Si, easily recognized by its tall white pagoda, the symbol of Wutai Shan. A smaller pagoda is said to contain strands of Manjusri's hair. Note also the two-story Sutra Library in Tayuan Si, with a revolving wooden bookcase from the Ming dynasty. Admission to temples ¥3-¥6 (40¢-80¢/20p-40p). 7am-6pm or later.

Two of the most famous mountain temples are Nan Shan Si and Longquan Si. The first is 2km (1.25 miles) south of Taihuai. Longquan Temple is another 2km (1.25 miles) in the same direction, so they are easily visited together and, within a few hours, can be done on foot.

Buddhist Holy Mountains
 
Pu Tuo Shan, Zhejiang province, 284 meters. Sacred to Kuan-Yin, the Bodhisattva of Compassion.
Wu Tai Shan, Shanxi province, 3061 meters. Sacred to Manjushri, the Bodhisattva of Wisdom.
Emei Shan, Sichuan province, 3099 meters. Sacred to Samantabhadra, the Bodhisattva of Benevolent Action.
Jiu Hua Shan, Anhui province, 1341 meters. Sacred to Kshitigarbha, the Bodhisattva of Salvation. 


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