Mount Emei

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Mount Emei
Emei Shan
Mount Emei pic 1.jpg
Highest point
Elevation 3,099 m (10,167 ft)
Prominence 1,069 m (3,507 ft)
Coordinates 29°31′11″N 103°19′57″E / 29.51972°N 103.33250°E / 29.51972; 103.33250Coordinates: 29°31′11″N 103°19′57″E / 29.51972°N 103.33250°E / 29.51972; 103.33250
Mount Emei is located in Sichuan
Mount Emei
Mount Emei
Official name Mount Emei Scenic Area, including Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Area
Type Mixed
Criteria iv, vi, x
Designated 1996 (20th session)
Reference no. 779
State Party  People's Republic of China
Region Asia-Pacific
Mount Emei
Emei shan (Chinese characters).svg
"Mount Emei" in Chinese characters
Chinese 峨眉山[1]

Mount Emei ([ɤ̌.měi]; Chinese: 峨眉山[1]; pinyin: Éméi shān) is a mountain in Sichuan Province, China, and is one of the Four Sacred Buddhist Mountains of China. Mt. Emei sits at the western rim of the Sichuan Basin. The mountains west of it are known as Daxiangling.[2] A large surrounding area of countryside is geologically known as the Permian Emeishan Large Igneous Province, a large igneous province generated by the Emeishan Traps volcanic eruptions during the Permian Period. At 3,099 metres (10,167 ft), Mt. Emei is the highest of the Four Sacred Buddhist Mountains of China.[3]

Administratively, Mt. Emei is located near the county-level city of the same name (Emeishan City), which is in turn part of the prefecture-level city of Leshan. It was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.[4]

As a sacred mountain

Mount Emei is one of the Four Sacred Buddhist Mountains of China, and is traditionally regarded as the bodhimaṇḍa, or place of enlightenment, of the bodhisattva Samantabhadra. Samantabhadra is known in Mandarin as Pǔxián Púsà (普賢菩薩).

Sources of the 16th and 17th centuries allude to the practice of martial arts in the monasteries of Mount Emei[5] made the earliest extant reference to the Shaolin Monastery as Chinese boxing's place of origin.[6]

Buddhist architecture on Emei

This is the location of the first Buddhist temple built in China in the 1st century CE.[4] 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 (31 mi), taking several days to walk.[7]

Cable cars ease the ascent to the two temples at Jinding (3,077 m), an hour's hike from the mountain's peak.[3][8]


The summit of Mount Emei has an alpine subarctic climate (Köppen Dwc), with long, cold (but not severely so) winters, and short, cool summers. The monthly 24-hour average temperature ranges from −5.7 °C (21.7 °F) in January to 11.6 °C (52.9 °F) in July, and the annual mean is 3.07 °C (37.5 °F). Precipitation is common year-round (occurring on more than 250 days), but due to the influence of the monsoon, 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 macaques who can often be viewed taking food from tourists. Local merchants sell nuts for tourists to feed the monkeys. Other featured animals includes Rana adenopleura, Vibrissaphora liui and Pheretima praepinguis


Mount Emei is known for its high level of endemism and approximately 200 plant species in various plant families have been described from this mountain.


See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 In the name "Emei", the character méi 眉 is sometimes written 嵋.
  2. E.g., 实用中国地图集 (Shiyong Zhongguo Dituji, "Practical Atlas of China"), 2008, ISBN 978-7-5031-4772-2; map of Sichuan on pp. 142-143
  3. 3.0 3.1 Hayes, Holly (2009) Emei Shan, Sacred Destinations. Updated 24 July 2009.
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Mount Emei Scenic Area, including Leshan Giant Buddha Scenic Area". UNESCO. Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  5. Zhāng Kǒngzhāo 張孔昭 (c. 1784). Boxing Classic: Essential Boxing Methods 拳經拳法備要 Quánjīng Quánfǎ Bèiyào (in Chinese). 
  6. Henning, Stanley E. (Fall 1999). "Academia Encounters the Chinese Martial Arts". China Review International. 6 (2): 319–332. doi:10.1353/cri.1999.0020. ISSN 1069-5834. .
  7. Dazhang, Sun (2002). Chinese Architecture -- The Qing Dynasty (English ed.). Yale University Press. pp. 328–329. ISBN 0-300-09559-7. 
  8. Gluckman, Ron (2002). Getting to the Top, Silk Road, December 2002. Hong Kong; Dragon Airlines.

External links

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