Mount Emei (Eyebrow Mountain) was originally a Taoist center in Sichuan that gradually over time came to be dedicated to the Bodhisattva Samantabhadra, and develop into one of the four sacred mountains of Buddhism in China.
One of the main monasteries in the complex of monasteries on the mountain is perched 3,000 metres above sea level right on the so-called Golden Summit.
The mountain is also bound up with the Legend of the White Snake, and rivalry between Taoists and Buddhists for supremacy in China, and at one time, when the Taoists had the upper hand, all the Buddhist monasteries and sculptures were destroyed.
The UNESCO World Heritage have incorporated both Emei and the nearby Leshan Giant Buddha in the same Heritage Site, by designating it as the Mount Emei Scenic Area. Indeed the road up the mountain is 50km long, and contains much more than just temples, being a rich centre for flora also.
The Leshan Buddha was carved at the confluence of three particularly dangerous rivers to ease the dangers for boats. It took around 90 years to carve out (713-803 AD), and the monk who started the work Hai Tong never lived to see its completion.
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