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History of Jiuhua Mountain
Jiuhu Mountain, known as a Buddhist
wonderland and famous for its large number of
temples and beautiful scenery, has been a resplendent pearl of Chinese cultural heritage.
Jiuhua Mountain was formed in the late Cenozoic Era, and Buddhism began in the Northern and Southern Dynasties (420-589) at the mountain. According to historical records, a
monk named Fuhu built Fuhu Convent in 503; Monk Tanhao practised Buddhism here in 713; During 713-755, Jin Qiaojue, a Korean aristocrat, came to Jiuhua Mountain and lived in a stone cave at Dongya Peak. His hard practice moved the local people, and they contributed money to build a temple for him. In 781 the local official Zhang
Yan presented a memorial to the emperor for the horizontal inscribed board "Huacheng". Upon Jin Qiaojue's nirvana, it was said that the mountain roared, birds and monkeys cried, and the earth gave out fire and light. His body kept lively three years later, so he was respected as the Earth Buddha, wrapped with earth and has been preserved to present. Roushen Pagoda was built to revere him, and thus Jiuhua Mountain has become the place where Earth Buddhist rites are performed.
The history of Buddhism at Jiuhua Mountain can be divided into five periods: founded in the middle of Tang Dynasty ; decayed from the late Tang Dynasty to the Five Dynasties; slowly developed in the Song and Yuan Dynasties; and greatly developed in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. In the Ming Dynasty, the emperors granted money to rebuild Huacheng Temple for three times and two emperors bestowed inscriptions. The number of temples and nunneries was over a hundred, and many monks and nuns came. It was listed as one of the four famous Buddhist mountains, besides
Wutai Mountain, Emei Mountain, and Putuo Mountain.