Wutai Mountain is one of the four well-known Buddhist Mountains and it has the longest and most prestigious history. I have heard it in many costume drama series. It is a mysterious place with many historical stories to me. This summer, my family went to Shanxi province for a trip and we visited Wutai Mountain.
The mountain is actually a cluster of five terrace-like peaks — East Terrace, West Terrace, South Terrace, North Terrace and Central Terrance, thus it got its name Wutai, which actually means five terraces. The North Terrace is the highest peak — about 3,058 meters above sea level — and is named as the Roof of North China.
The Wutai Mountain is not only famous for its culture but also for its natural beauty. When I arrived there I found its sky is as blue and bright as that of Tibet. The ancient temples and monasteries were hided in trees shadows. The buildings look exceptionally impressive. I was shocked by the superb craftsmanship of stone carvings and painted sculptures. They were of various shapes and types and no two are of the same kind.
Although the temperature was above 34℃ in the city, it was cool and pleasant in Wutai Mountain area. I really suggest this ideal place for escaping summer heat.
We visited Nanchan Temple on the mountain, which houses 17 painted figurines. Linda, our tour guide from chinaholidays told us it is the earliest wooden structure of its kind preserved in China today. Its eaves stretched out, and the hall had not a single column. Its outer appearance looked simple and its structure concise. Then we paid a visit to the Big White Pagoda for Buddha’s Sarira, the symbol of the Wutai Mountain. The pagoda was in Nepalese style and inside the pagoda, there was small India-made iron stupa, where some remains of Sakyamuni are kept.
This travel was an engaged one from which I learned a lot about Chinese Buddhist culture and arts of ancient times. You can find more routes by visiting http://www.chinaholidays.com/guide/cities/wutaishan-travel.html