Tiantai Mountain

Tiantai Mountain

A view of Tiantai Mountain and the Guoqing Temple Ancient Tower, constructed during the Sui Dynasty.
Highest point
Elevation 1,138 m (3,734 ft)
Coordinates 29°10′44″N 121°02′32″E / 29.178843°N 121.042213°E / 29.178843; 121.042213
Location Zhejiang, China
Guoqing Temple on Mount Tiantai, originally built in 598 during the Sui dynasty and renovated during the reign of the Qing Yongzheng Emperor (r. 17221735 AD).

Tiantai Mountain, Mount Tiantai, or Tiantaishan (Chinese: 天台山; pinyin: Tiāntāi Shān; Wade–Giles: T‘ien-t‘ai Shan) is a mountain in Tiantai County near the city of Taizhou, Zhejiang, China.[1] Its highest peak, Huading, reaches a height of 1,138 meters (3,734 ft).[1] The mountain was made a national park on 1 August 1988. One of nine remaining wild populations of Seven-Son Flower Heptacodium miconioides is located on Mount Tiantai.[2]


In Chinese mythology, the creator goddess Nüwa cut the legs off a giant sea turtle (Chinese: ; pinyin: áo) and used them to prop up the sky after Gong Gong damaged Mount Buzhou, which had previously supported the heavens.[3] A local myth holds that Mount Tiantai was on the turtle's back before and Nüwa relocated it to its current position when she had to remove the turtle's legs.

Guoqing Temple

Guoqing Temple on the mountain is the headquarters of Tiantai Buddhism and also a tourist destination. Tiantai, named for the mountain, focuses on the Lotus Sutra. The most prominent teacher of that school, Zhiyi, was based at Guoqing Temple. Over many years it has been an important destination for pilgrims, especially from Japan. The mountain was visited by Saichō in 805 who went on to found the related Japanese Buddhist school, Tendai.

Ji Gong Temple

The mountain has a famous temple to the Song-era monk Ji Gong at the Cave of Auspicious Mists that was associated with early modern fuji or "spirit writing" movements.[4]

A panorama of Tiantai Mountain.


  1. 1 2 "Tiantai Mountain Scenic Area". Retrieved March 8, 2011.
  2. Lu, H. P.; Cai, Y. W.; Chen, X. Y.; Zhang, X.; Gu, Y. J.; Zhang, G. F. (2006). "High RAPD but no cpDNA sequence variation in the endemic and endangered plant, Heptacodium miconioides Rehd. (Caprifoliaceae)". Genetica. 128 (1–3): 409–417. doi:10.1007/s10709-006-7542-x. PMID 17028968.
  3. Yang, Lihui; An, Deming; Jessica Anderson Turner (2008). Handbook of Chinese Mythology. Oxford University Press. p. 182. ISBN 978-0-19-533263-6.
  4. Katz, Paul R. (1 April 2014). Religion in China and Its Modern Fate. Brandeis University Press. p. 145. ISBN 978-1-61168-543-5.
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