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Meishan, China

Golden Summit Temple

A golden temple atop a sacred mountain, known for its giant effigy of the revered Pu Xian. 

The Bodhisattva Samantabhadra, or Puxian in Chinese, is said to have meditated on Mount Emei, and has thus been dubbed protector of the area and patron Buddha of the monasterie in the region.

Located atop Mount Emei in Sichuan, China, this epic statue, at 48 meters high, is the 22nd tallest statue in the world. But its height is not its most notable feature, so much as its unique head, as this massive graven image faces in ten directions, one for each of the Bodhisattva’s ‘Ten Truths of Universal Worthiness’.

Located on one of China’s four sacred Buddhist mountains, The Golden Summit Temple is accessible by foot or by cable car. The journey on foot takes about 2 hours up steep stairs, and winding through the valleys and up the mountain one can spot numerous Tibetan macaques. The monkeys will gladly take food and drink from visitors, and have been known to do so whether one permits them or not.

The views and landscape can tend to be foggy, rainy, or snowy if visiting in winter, and it is suggested to visit in autumn for clear views. The Golden Summit Temple is situated behind the statue of Puxian, and between the two visitors may burn incense offerings toward the Bodhisattva.

In general Mount Emei and the surrounding areas are covered in Buddhist temples and monasteries, a particularly important and sacred place to followers. At one time there were many more monasteries, but the apex of Chinese Buddhism has come and gone since it was first introduced over 2000 years ago. Even still, each morning countless Buddhist pilgrims can still be seen climbing the mountain.