The weather was pretty horrible when we woke up. Very foggy and rainy which doesn’t mix very well with mountain views. Our plan was to get the bus up the mountain and catch the cable car to the Golden summit to see the Jinding Temple and the statue of Samantabhadra (also called Puxian). Then head down the mountain viewing all the little temples along the way.
On our way up in the bus you couldn’t see anything. Just fog. That was the same for the cable car and the walk to the temple which was a little disappointing but we can’t change the weather unfortunately. Once we made it to the top, the 48m high golden statue of Shifang Puxian appeared. It was massive and made really mystical due to the fog because all you could see was the statue and it looked as if it was floating. On the way up we were wondering exactly why we had decided to do this in this weather but seeing the statue made it all worth it. The temple itself behind the statue was lovely but we were there for the statue.
From what what we can piece together from badly translated snippets of information Puxian (who the statue is of) is Buddhas oldest son and to show how much he loved him he gave him the six tusked white elephant to be his faithful steed. They travelled around and found Emi Shan mountain and were enamoured by its beauty and spirituality so they stayed there. As we don’t have google here we can’t find out if that is even remotely the legend and I am sure there is more to it but it sounds good.
We had grand plans to walk back to the bus stop instead of catching the cable car down but we were cold and wet and gave up on that idea. The next section of the park was about half way down so we though we would catch the bus there and try our luck. It was a little less foggy and the rain had stopped so we decided to continue on.
We visited the Wannian temple which housed a 62,000kg brass statue of Puxian and his white elephant. Apparently if you rub the elephants back legs it brings you luck. So of course we lined up with everyone to give it a go. From here we continued walking down the mountain via Qingyin Pavillion down countless flights of steps through flog shrouded forest, which was really lovely. Qingyin Pavillion is a temple situated over the crossing of two rivers in beautiful thick forest. There were barrel bridges spanning the rivers I would have loved to have seen it without the throngs of tourists but even then it was still really lovely. We also encountered monkeys. Apparently they are not very nice and try and steal things from tourists. We didn’t have a problem with them but we had purchased a bambo stick just in case.
From there the walk was relatively flat along the river which was crystal clear towards the last bus station home. It was a real shame the weather was so awful but we still managed to have a really great day. S
Nearly at the top. The statue is just visible in the background.
For something so large it was very delicately adorned. Every time you looked you saw something different.
One of our monkey friends watching the crowds go by looking for any unsuspecting tourist with food in an open bag.
Some beautiful vases at the Wannian Temple. I am assuming they are replicas because the originals would be worth a fortune and maybe kept out of the elements.
The smell of incense that hits our nose as soon as you walk into the temples really sets the mood.
I am sure there is a view behind all that fog but this one isn’t too bad anyway.
One of the barrel bridges at Qingyin Pavillon.
Such a beautiful setting. Just a pity about the crowds.