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Mt. Wutai

Mt. Wutai is one of the four sacred mountains for the Buddhism believers. It is located about 200 km north of Taiyuan in mountainous country. The name refers to the flat tops of the five principal peaks. The north peak (Dou Feng) is the highest of the group at 3,058 meters (10,036 ft). The Buddhist temples built here dated back to the Han dynasty over 2000 years ago, when an Indian monk is supposed to have had a vision of Manjusri there. The mountain became an important Buddhist center in the Northern Wei through the Tang dynasties( 220 - 907 AD), when more than 200 temples were dedicated to the study of the Avatamsaka Sutra. After a period of decline,

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the mountain regained popularity in the Ming and Qing dynasties (1368 - 1911 AD), when the emphasis on Tibetan-style Lamaist Buddhism made Mt. Wutai an important pilgrimage site.
About forty temples remain in the region, many in the monastic village of Taihuai nestled in the center of the five peaks, and others farther afield in the mountains. The Tayuan Si (Temple of the Pagodas) was built in Tibetan style in the Ming period, with a 50-meter high bulbous, whitewashed dome characteristic of the style. Behind the pagoda is a two story Ming-period library, which contains an older revolving sutra-case, holding rare religious texts. The nearby Xiantong Si is one of the oldest Buddhist monasteries in the world. Its foundation dates back to the early years of Buddhism in China in the 1st century AD, though most of the present complex was built in Ming or Qing dynasties. Besides the local pilgrimages, there are also many visitors come to Mt. Wutai in summer time as it is not only the Buddhist Mountains, but also a natural and beautiful scenic area for all the tourists.



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