Mt. Tiantai

Mt. Tiantai
There are many historical sites in the mountain, such as the Sui dynasty Pagoda, the Chanshi Pagoda, the ancient Fengqian Bridge, the Hanshi Pavilion and Tang dynasty tablets. Many famous Chinese calligraphers and poets left their inscriptions upon Mt. Tiantai.

Mt. Tiantai is a wellknown Buddhist Mecca. Guoqing Temple at the foot of Mt. Tiantai was built in 598 in the Sui dynasty (581-618). It is the birthplace of the Tiantai Sect of Buddhism. The temple has been renovated several times in later dynasties. The present temple was renovated in the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) and then in 1973. There are now 14 halls and over 600 rooms in the temple. The architecture there is grand and unique, making the temple a popular tourist destination in Zhejiang. Historical sites are scattered in and around the temple, including Gaomingjiang Temple, Huadingjiang Temple, Fangguang Temple, Wannian Temple and Zhenjue Temple. About 1,300 years ago, Master Zhizhe initiated the Tiantai Sect of Buddhism on Mt. Tiantai. Over 1,200 years ago, monk Jianzhen went to Japan to spread doctrines of the Tiantai Sect. In 804 of the Tang dynasty, a Japanese monk came over to Guoqing Temple to learn Buddhist scriptures, and after he went back to Japan, he initiated the Japanese Tiantai Sect, which considered the Guoqing Temple as its ancestor. Buddhist exchanges between the two countries, promoted the friendship between the Chinese and Japanese people.

Main historical sites at the temple include:

Tomb of Master Yixing: Master Yixing (683-727) of the Tang dynasty was also an astronomer. He visited many masters around the country and studied in the Mt. Tiantai.

Zhizhe Pagoda Courtyard: Master Zhizhe, initiator of the Tiantai Sect, was buried under a pagoda on Jindi Ridge in Mt. Tiantai, and portraits of other Buddhist masters are put in the courtyard for sacrificial purposes.

The Shiliang Waterfall: The magnificent and tall Shiliang waterfall flows swiftly. There is a stone beam about seven meters long and 1/3 meter wide topping the waterfall, and the narrowest place is only 1/6 meter wide. One will feel frightened standing on the beam. Opposite the stone beam is a temple, and monks used to walk on the beam every day to the temple to offer sacrifices.

Guoqing Temple: The temple is 220 kilometers away from Hangzhou. A highway reaches the gate of the temple and there are highways between other scenic spots.

The beautiful landscape, long history and rich tourist resources of Mt. Tiantai make it a favorite tourist area in Zhejiang.