Emei Mountain lies seven kilometers southwest of Emeishan City and is one of the four mountain in China that Buddhists consider sacred. It was included in the UNESCO world heritage list in 1996. The mountain stretches more than 200 kilometers from south to north. Its main peak, Wanfo Top, is 3,099 meters above sea level. Since ancient times Emei Mountain has been described as “Beauty Under Heaven”. Temples on the mountain were built as early as the Eastern Han Dynasty (25–220).
A legend claims that the mountain was where Samantabhadra gave lectures on Buddhism and most temples house has a statue of Pǔxián Púsà (普贤菩萨). The main scenic spots on the mountain include the Baoguo Temple, Wannian Temple, Fohu temple, Qingyin Pavilion, Heilongjiang Tunnel, Hongchun Platform, Xianfeng Temple (Jiulao Cave), Xixiang Pond and Golden Summit. These places are at different altitudes and have different climates. Temperatures at the top of mountain are 15 degrees lower than at the foot. Emei Mountain is a well-known natural museum with more than 3,000 specimens of plants and 2,000 types of animals including groups of monkeys that appear on the mountain roads to absorb the tourists.
There used to be over100 temples and halls on the mountain，but only 20 still stand. Baoguo Temple sits at the foot of the mountain at the entrance and exit of the mountain area. The temple was built during the reign of Ming Emperor Wanli(1573–1620). The red copper Huayan Pagoda inside the temple is an important relic for studying Chinese Buddhism. The 14-storyed pagoda is seven meters high and its walls are engraved with more than 4 700 images of Buddha and text of Buddhist Sutra of the Huayan Sect. About 15 kilometers from the Baoguo Temple is Wannian Temple, one of the main temples in the mountain area. Wannian Temple, or the Temple of Samantabhadra, as was known before the Ming Dynasty, was built during the reign of Emperor Long’an of the Eastern Jin dynasty (397–401). It has no beams and has a bronze statue of Buddha Samantabhadra mounted on a six-toothed white elephant cast in 1980, the fifth year of the Northern Song Dynasty. The statue is 7.3 meters high and weighs 62 tons. Xianfeng Temple is situated a the foot of the Jiulao Peak and the old halls were built with tin sheets and iron tiles. The intact halls were rebuilt in 1779. Fohu Temple is located one kilometer west of Baoguo Temple and at the foot of Fohu Hill. It is one of the largest temple in the mountain area. Rebuilt in 1651, it covers an area of 13,000 square meters and is accessible from the highway. At the Golden Summit, the pinnacle of the mountain area 3,065 meters above sea level, is Puguang Hall of Temple. It was constructed during the Eastern Han Dynasty and has been rebuilt several times after being struck by lightning. The Golden Summit is an ideal place to view the sunrise, the sea of clouds, the “Buddhist lights” and “Sacred lamps”.
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 (普贤菩萨). 16th and 17th century ,the martial arts practice in the monasteries of Mount Emei made the earliest reference to the Shaolin Monastery as Chinese boxing’s place of origin.
Great spectacles of Mount Emei include the sunrise and Clouds Sea seen from the Golden Summit of the mountain. The sunrise is very varied, but optimally begins with the ground and sky being in the same dark purple, soon showing rosy clouds, followed by a bright purple arc and then a semicircle where the sun is coming up. The Clouds Sea includes several cloud phenomena, such as clouds appearing in the sky above, in addition to the regular clouds beneath.
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. Some monkeys may be seen eating human food such as potato chips and even drinking soda from discarded bottles. The Emei Shan Liocichla, a passerine bird, as well as the Emei Music Frog, a vocal frog, are named from the site.
Emei Mountain is attracting more and more tourists for its charming Buddhist culture and original scenery.