Saturday, September 13, 2008

Mount Putuo

Mount Putuo is an island located to the south-east of Shanghai, in Zhoushan prefecture of Zhejiang province, . It is famous in Chinese Buddhism, and is considered the bodhimanda of Avalokitesvara , a revered Bodhisattva in many parts of East Asia. Mount Putuo is one of the four sacred mountains in Chinese Buddhism, the others being Mount Wutai, Mount Jiuhua, and Mount Emei .

Today it is a noted tourist destination. As of November 2007, tourists were charged 160 for an entry ticket upon disembarkation at the island's port. A number of hotels and settlements are dotted around the island.

The name Putuo derives from "Potalaka" the mountain residence of Guanyin in the Avatamsaka Sutra, as does the Potala Palace, the former residence of the Dalai Lamas.


Around 1612, the 20-year-old future -master Yinyuan Longqi arrived at Mount Putuo while looking for his father, who had disappeared fifteen years earlier. He served tea to the monks.


*33m tall statue of the Guan Yin at Zizhulin
*Two major beaches - Hundred Step Beach and Thousand Step Beach. Hundred Step Beach charges for entry and has facilities such as deckchairs and parasols, and activities such as a banana boat and quad bikes.


*Puji Temple
*Fayu Temple
*Putuo is covered with many temples and monasteries, both large and small. All are under the directive of the Chinese Buddhist Association. Many monks and nuns from all over the country, and abroad, go to great lengths to live and practice there.
*In addition to these monasteries, is a large Institute of Buddhism, on of the largest Buddhist academic institutes in China.
*The modern scholar monk Taixu, spent several years in solitary retreat at a small hermitage in Putuo.


Putuoshan can be reached by boat from the major cities of Ningbo and Shanghai. It will take approximately an hour by boat to reach the wharf at Ningbo, from where a bus transports passengers to Ningbo city centre. There are two boats linking Putuoshan and Shanghai. One departs in the evening and travels overnight, arriving in the early morning; the other leaves early in the day from a wharf outside of Shanghai city centre but takes less than two hours.

A number of minibuses link the major tourist areas. There are no taxis and traffic is usually limited to buses.

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