Mount Putuo

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View of Mount Putuo island
Mount Putuo
Putuo shan (Chinese characters).svg
"Mount Putuo" in Chinese characters
Chinese 普陀山
Literal meaning (from Sanskrit) "Mount Potalaka"
Building on Mount Putuo, 1899
Plan of the Mount Putuo
Mount Putuo Shan Island South Sea Guanyin
Putuo Shan lake and pavilions

Mount Putuo (Chinese: 普陀山; pinyin: Pǔtúo Shān; literally: "(from Sanskrit) Mount Potalaka") is an island southeast of Shanghai, in Zhoushan prefecture of Zhejiang province, China. It is a renowned site in Chinese Buddhism, and is considered the bodhimanda of the bodhisattva Avalokitesvara (Guanyin). Mount Putuo is one of the four sacred mountains in Chinese Buddhism, the others being Mount Wutai, Mount Jiuhua, and Mount Emei (Bodhimandas for Manjusri, Ksitigarbha, and Samantabhadra respectively). Mount Putuo lies in the Eastern Sea of China and incorporates the beauty of both mountain and sea. Its area is approximately 12.5 square kilometers and there are numerous famous temples. Every year on February 19, June 19, and September 19 it welcomes millions of people for the celebration of the birth of Guanyin.

History[edit]

Mount Putuo has been a pilgrimage site for over a thousand years.[1] After the Tang dynasty, Putuo Mountain became a center of Guanyin worship.[2] Traditionally there were three main temples: The Puji si 普濟寺 (founded 10th cent.), the Fayu si 法雨寺 (founded 1580 CE), and the Huiji si 慧濟寺 (founded 1793 CE). The site has received numerous renowned visitors over the ages, including the then 20-year-old future Chan-master Yinyuan Longqi (Japanese: Ingen), who came to the site in 1612, while looking for his father, who had disappeared fifteen years earlier. The modern scholar-monk Taixu spent several years in solitary retreat at a small hermitage on Putuo.

1867 photo
Photograph by Scottish photographer John Thomson, 1867.

Features[edit]

  • 33m tall statue of the Guan Yin at Zizhulin (紫竹林)
  • 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.
  • The only surviving specimen of Putuo hornbeam, a critically endangered species.

Temples[edit]

  • 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. Today, there are more than 30 major temples located at Mount Putuo,[3] including the Puji Temple, Fayu Temple and Huiji Temple.
  • In addition to these monasteries, there is the Institute of Buddhism, one of the largest Buddhist academic institutes in China.

Transport[edit]

Many of the Zhoushan Islands are now linked by bridges. This means that Putuoshan can easily be reached by bus from Shanghai and Ningbo. The bus terminates at Shenjiamen Bus Station. From the Banshengdong Wharf on the Shenjiamen waterfront it is a 10-minute ride by fast ferry (22rmb) to Putuoshan. In Shanghai, the Nanpu Bridge Bus Station, Shanghai Stadium Sightseeing Bus Center and Shanghai South Long Distance Bus Station have several departures daily to Shenjiamen (4–5 hours, 138rmb). In Ningbo, the North and South bus stations both have regular daily departures to Shenjiamen (2–3 hours, 60rmb).

There are two flights daily from Hongqiao Airport in Shanghai to Putuo Airport which is only 3 kilometres from Shenjiamen. (approx 800rmb).

The ferry services mentioned below are still available but the bus services now provide a greater level of convenience and comfort. 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.

Weather[edit]

It is an Asian warm-temperate moist climate (Cfa) and has four distinct seasons'. It has plenty or rain and fog. The average temperature of whole year is 16.1 °C (61 °F). The coldest month is January, average temperature is 5.4 °C (42 °F). The hottest month is August, temperature is 27.0 °C (81 °F). It has typhoon season on July, August and September. The average speed of wind is 4.2 to 5.7 metres per second (15 to 21 km/h).

The Mount Putuo has all-year-round travel seasons, but in regard to when and where to get on the island, tourists should be careful and check the weather forecast beforehand.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 30°00′35″N 122°23′06″E / 30.00972°N 122.38500°E / 30.00972; 122.38500