With the reputation of being the no.1 mountain of Jinan, the Thousand Buddha Mountain lies 1.55 miles to the south of Jinan in the Shandong Province. The 258 meters High Mountain (from east to west) built over an area of 140 acres is one of the most important places to visit in Jinan. In this blog, we cover all the essentials for travellers planning a visit to Jinan in China, but if you need help with booking flights, check out Easternstylo for affordable air travel.
History of the Thousand Buddha Mountain
Before being built in the year 1959 inside a park in Jinan, the mountain was known as Mt. Li Shan during the days of Sui Dynasty (from 581 to 618). Later in the 6th century, a group of monks from India visited Jinan and chiselled thousands of Buddha figures on the side of the mountain and a temple named Thousand Buddha Temple was built at the foot of the mountain. It was then that the mountain got its name “Thousand Buddha Mountain”.
Things to see around Thousand Buddha Mountain
There were several temples constructed at the foot and around the mountain – carving thousands of Buddha images into the rocks, on the sides of the mountain and even inside the temples. The Thousand Buddha Cliff settled on the north of the hill behind the Xingguochan Temple is among the most elaborate areas to witness.
When on a trip to the Thousand Buddha Mountain in Jinan, visit the Shun temple, Xingguo Temple, Nine Spots Terrace, Stone Buddhist Head and the Wenchang Temple. The brilliant Chinese architecture of these sites, the pavilions and the intricately carved stone and roof-edges is indeed an impressive sight.
While exploring the massive mountain and its surrounding areas, you will see a clear picture of the Chinese history and its relation to Buddhism, a faith that entered the Chinese borders from India. Make sure you have a good camera to capture these mind-blowing structures and religious sites as some of the best religious attractions across the world. To get an in-depth understanding of the Chinese culture and rich history, we would suggest you to include the following places when travelling to the Thousand Buddha Mountain:
- The Buddha Statues
Over 130 Buddha statues were carved on the south side of the mountain during the era of Sui rule in ancient China and the Thousand Buddha Cliff holds four caves from West to East – Longquan Cave, Qianlou Cave, Jile Cave and Ivzu Cave. These caves are among the most fascinating places to learn about the rich history of China.
- The Wanfo Cave
Constructed on the north part of the Thousand Buddha Mountain, the Wanfo Cave is almost 500 meters long inspired by the elite of the most popular grottoes in the country such as The Longmen Caves, The Mogao Caves, The Maiji Caves and The Yungang Caves. Almost 23,000 statue pieces representing the intricate designs of Bodhisattva, Buddha, Guardian Kings and Disciples are an example of the brilliant craftsmanship during the Northern Wei Dynasty, the Song Dynasty and the Tang Dynasty.
- Shandong Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetery
The popular Shandong Revolutionary Martyrs Cemetery for Revolution of 1911 is located on the east of the mountain, Constructed in the year 1934, the cemetery came under provincial protection in the year 1979. It is considered as one of the most significant places to visit near Thousand Buddha Mountain.
Over the last few years, several scenic spots have also been added in the area, including the Qi Lu inscriptions, gardens, rope ways, water pull, etc. In 1995, the Thousand Buddha Mountain Park was declared as one among the Seven Beauty Spots in the Shandong Province.
Best time to visit Thousand Buddha Mountain
The months of September, October and November are considered as the best time to visit the Thousand Buddha Mountain as the climate remains moderate. The months of monsoon, July and August, experience heavy rainfall and from December to February, the weather is too chilly. So, it is better to avoid these seasons to visit Jinan.
How to reach Thousand Buddha Mountain
The best way to reach Thousand Buddha Mountain is by taking a public bus as it is situated only at a short distance of 1.55 miles from downtown Jinan. You can also book a private taxi or take a train that will directly take you to the tourist attraction.