Xuedou Mountain (xuě dòu shān 雪窦山), located at the northwest of Xikou Town (xī kǒu zhèn 溪口镇), Fenghua City (fèng huà shì 奉化市), Zhejiang Province (zhè jiāng shěng 浙江省), with an altitude of 800 meters, is the highest peak of the ranges of the Siming Moutain (sì míng shān 四明山). There is a hole in the mountain, from which there is a spring which is milky white, thus the spring is called Milky Spring (rǔ quán 乳泉), and the hole is called Xuedou (xuě dòu 雪窦, means milky white). Therefore, the mountain is given the name of Xuedou Mountain.
Xuedou Mountain is known for its serenity, seclusion, magnificence, and wonderfulness. The major scenic spots include Qianzhang Crag (qiān zhàng yán 千丈岩) with waterfall dascading downhill, Miaogao Terrace (miào gāo tái 妙高台) with tall peaks, Sanyin Pool (sān yǐn tán 三隐潭), Feixue Pavilion (fēi xuě tíng 飞雪亭) and the Xuedou Temple (xuě dòu sì 雪窦寺). See ForeignerCN.com.
Xuedou Mountain has a total landscape area of 85 square kilometers and more than 60 attractions, among which Miaogao Platform and Qianzhang Rock are the most attractive ones.
The topographical features of Xuedou Mountain scenic spot can be traced back to the late Jurassic Period 1150,000,000 years ago, or the early Cretaceous Period 135,000,000-110,000,000 years ago, when the volcanic activities along the coastline of eastern Zhejiang virtually came to an end and the Ningbo Cretaceous Basin began to take shape. The geological features of the early, middle and late Cretaceous Period can be clearly seen from the geological structure in this area.
During the middle Cretaceous Period, the purplish red sedimentary rocks began to develop with the climate turning dry and hot, which could be seen from purplish red sandstones along the highway between Xikou and Xuedou Mountain.
During the late Cretaceous Period, the alluvial fan accumulation gradually shaped the landforms of this area between northern Xikou and southern Jiangkou.
Since the beginning of the Cenozoic Era, this area experienced four major transgressions. The overflows from the volcanic eruption, as a result of the violent movement of the nature and the long time erosion from rainwater during the process of the development, gradually shaped spectacular landforms of Xuedou Mountains and its rising and falling, lofty and stiff tuff ranges.
Xuedou Temple (雪窦山庙) was originally founded in the Tang Dynasty. For thousands of years, it has been visited by many people, and has produced numerous eminent monks. It has a high status and is regarded by the Buddhist circle in China as one of the world’s ten most famous Buddhist temples together with the other nine temples, such as Zhongtian, Zhutianning, Wanshou, the Yongzuo Temple of Hangzhou, and the Jiangshan Taiping Xingguo Temple of Nanjing.
During the Tang and Song dynasties, Xuedou Temple had received 41 imperial edicts from emperors of several generations. So far, the temple has stored 5,760 Confucian classics granted by emperors, jade seals, dragon robes, dragon pots and jade Buddhas.
The construction of the temple, is magnificent and attractive. Outside the temple, ancient trees tower to the sky. Among them, two ginkgo trees from the Han Dynasty which are surrounded by about five people. With exuberant leaves, the ginkgoes rise above the clouds.
In front of Xuedou Temple, there is a waterfall called Xuedou Waterfall, also known as Qianzhang Rock Waterfall. The water head is in the valleys at the south and the north of Xuedou Temple. The water of the Milk Spring flows into Jinjing Pool (which is an ancient pool developed in the Southern Song Dynasty), crossing Guanshan Bridge and pouring out of the cliff mouth.
The waterfall pours down from Qianzhang Rock. From the top of the rock to the pool, it is as high as 186 meters. At the half-way point, there is a huge rock. In spring and autumn, the rain falls down in a deluge but it runs into the rock at the half-way point and splashes in all directions right away. It falls like pearls and jades, and also dances like snow. Under the sunlight, it forms a rainbow, which is quite splendid. Xuedou Waterfall was well known by the whole nation as early as in the Northern Song Dynasty.
Sanyin Pond Waterfall
Sanyin Pond Waterfall is situated north-west of Xuedou Temple. The water flows from Dongao Village (on Xuedou Mountain, there is a village of alpine flowers. With a beautiful and clean environment, the village is an ocean of flowers and seedlings) to the cliff mouth, forming one waterfall; it continues running down the mountainside to the foot, forming three waterfalls. As a result, it is called Sanyin Pond.
With a length of more than 1,600 meters, the pond can be divided into Shangyin Pond, Zhongyin Pond and Xiayin Pond respectively from the highest to the lowest. Shangyin Pond is highlighted by its quietness and danger; Zhongyin Pond stands out for its delicacy and cleanness; Xiayin Pond is well known for its superb beauty. Despite the positions of the three ponds in remote mountains and deep valleys and the difficulty of visiting them, tourists still visit in great numbers.
Miaogao Platform is also known as Miaogao Peak or Tianzhu Peak. It is the main scenic spot of the Xuedou landscapes. Although it is only 396 meters above sea level, it stands out against the mountain behind it. With the middle part bulging, three steep cliffs, and a gaping abyss down its side, the platform has a precipitous terrain.
In a narrow sense, Miaogao Platform refers to a platform of about 350 square meters. Standing at the front edge, you can look out on the natural sceneries of Tingxia Lake. On the periphery of Miaogao Platform, ancient trees and green bamboos are thriving so much that they keep the sunlight away. In addition, the clear breeze blows gently. It is an ideal summer resort.
In 1894, the 20th year of Qing Emperor’s rein, the stone arch bridge was started to be built on the bank of the pool of Qianzhangyan Waterfall. Looking up by the bridge, all you can see is cliff crashing into the sky and waterfall pouring down, forcing you to come up with the expression “water the high mountain with awe”, after which “Yangzhi” Bridge is named. Yangzhi Bridge at the bottom of the waterfall and Feixue Pavilion top of the cliff confronting the waterfall match each other perfectly and provide different views, both of which are good places for sightseeing.
There is a beautiful legend which has been passed through the history for thousands of years. It is said that the dragon princess of Dragon King of South Sea and princess, Green Dragon, of East Sea, loved each other dearly and became a couple after all the hardships and difficulties. They finally were turned into waterfalls that look out for each other and together for the next thousand years come which has been called Mandarin Duck Waterfall. The pool of Mandarin Duck Waterfall is like a big pearl which is also named by many as “Two Dragons Fondling one Pearl”. From the perspective of the ancient people. Everywhere in Sanyintan Waterfall hides true dragons which, Lou Yue, a famous literatus of Song Dynasty remarked “please don’t be too close to the pool for there are sleeping dragons within, sometimes thunder and storm come out of nowhere”.
The open-air statue of Buddha Maitreya in Xuedou Mountain is made of 1200 tons of steel and tin bronze. It has a total height of 56.7 meters and the Buddha itself in a sitting position is 33 meters high with a 10.5 meter long head and a 6600 sq. meter body area. The statue implies some marvelous numbers. The 33 meter net height of the Buddha implies that the Maitreya dwells at the 33rd layer of the heaven and it is believed in Fenghua that Bag Monk (the incarnation of Maitreya) passed away on the third day of the third lunar month. The 56.7 meter height of the statue suggests 5,670 million years after the nirvana of Sakyamuni Maitreya descended from the sky and became a Buddha on the earth. Then he lectured three times under a nagapuspa tree (also called Bodhi Tree) and turned many people into arhats. His lotus throne has 56 petals which symbolize 56 ethnic groups in China that are in harmony and common prosperity. The statue has magnificence, holiness, greatness all rolled into one and it tops all other bronze statues of Maitreya in the world.
The present Buddha Maitreya is a typical Chinese one, who has the appearance of Bhiksu, body of an Arhat, spirit of a Bodhisattva, figure of Bag Monk and face of a Buddha. The whole figure has symbolic meanings. His broad forehead symbolizes wisdom, his merciful eyes infinite mercy, his drooping ears long life and happiness, his broad smile bringing happiness to people, his bare chest and shoulders honesty and his big belly tolerance. He holds a string of beads in his right hand, suggesting that he will govern the future world. His leg lies on the ground and his right one erects, indicating that Maitreya is cultivating himself in Tusita Palace in the heaven and will descend to the human realm to become a Buddha on the earth. He will preach Buddhism under the Bodhi Tree and save all the people of the world.
The program provides you a chance to touch the Buddha's feet and his sole, which symbolize half of the shining Dharma wheel. On each of his toes, five Chinese characters are carved: Ci (Mercy), Bei (Sympathy), Zhi (Wisdom), Yuan (Will) and Xing (conduct). If you touch his five toes with the words, it means that you have worshiped Avalokitesvara Bodhisativa, or Guanyin Bodhisattva, at Mount Emei, Ksitigarbha at Mount Jiuhua and Buddha Maitreya at Xuedou Mountain. You will fulfill your lifelong will by doing so.
Touch the Buddha's feet and you will have affinity with Buddhism now. With the merciful light and Dharma favor from the Buddha you will experience an unforgettable sublimation of your life.