Xiushan Mountain lies in the south of Tonghai County, about 125 kilometers from Kunming.
It covers an area of 1.55 million square meters, in which the ancient architectural complex takes up 3%.
秀山公园 | Xiushan Mountain in Tonghai County
Table of Contents
Geographic location: in the south of Tonghai County
Scenic status: a key provincial cultural and historical relic; a provincial scenic area, and a 4A national tourist attraction.
Tour time: 1 ~ 2 hours
Xiushan Mountain is a good summer resort. It is cooler than in the city. Thus when visiting this mountain, visitors should take more clothes to keep warm.
Recommended Tour Route
Yuxiu Archway → Puguang Temple → Yuhuang Temple → Qingliang (Cooling) Platform → Yongjin Temple
Overview of Xiushan Mountain, introduction to Puguang Temple and Yongjin Temple
The Xiushan Mountain is a typical tourist destination combining the longstanding history, the mystical religious custom, and the natural landscape as a whole. For many centuries, the Xiushan Mountain has been a religious resort for Buddhism, Daoism, and Confucianism. Since the 1980s, the Xiushan Mountain has been assessed to be the key provincial cultural and historical relic, the provincial scenic area, and the 4A national tourist attraction.
The Xiushan Mountain is famed as the first elegant mountain in South Yunnan. The first construction of the Xiushan Mountain started in the Han Dynasty (206 B.C. ~ 220 A.D.). Ever since then, roads, pavilions, and temples have been built in the mountain, turning it into a Buddhist and Daoist holy land, particularly in the period of the Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties. It was opened to the public as a park in the period of the Republic of China (1912~1949 A.D.).
For thousands of years, the Xiushan Mountain has been a wonderful tourist destination.
It was one of the four famous mountains in Yunnan together with the Golden Horse Mountain and the Jade Mountain in Kunming, and the Cangshan Mountain in Dali. Its glamor lies basically in four aspects. Firstly, it is fantastic to roam with splendid feeling in such a green, fresh and primitive world, whose forest coverage is 94.2%. Secondly, it is a good place to have a panorama view of Tonghai County, Jili Lake, and the pavilions and archways in the mountain. Thirdly, it is a good place to enjoy literary and refined scholars’ well-turned phrases through the ages. There are more than 250 tablets and couplets on this mountain. Hence it has got the name “Sea of Tablets and Couplets”.
Stepping into the Xiushan Mountain, the first sight comes to eyes is the Yuxiu Archway which was originally built in 1873. It has stood through the ages. The horizontal board hanging up the middle arch is inscribed with four glided Chinese characters “Xiu Jia Nan Dian”, which means the first elegant mountain in South Yunnan.
The Puguang Temple, one of the famous ancient structures in Yunnan province, sits on the midway up to the mountain. It was initially built in the later period of the Tang Dynasty (618~968 A.D.). The existing structure was built in the Yuan Dynasty (1206~1314 A.D.). The roof frame of the main hall is composed of a wood bucket arch which is a typical structure in ancient China for beautifying and bearing. Two pagodas standing inside the temple yard are for memorizing the immortal monk Li Panfu who is said to have helped people to bring the flood under control.
The Yuhuang Temple is where people enshrine and worship the Jade Emperor, the god in Daoism. In the front of the temple is a stone archway which is also used as the “Gate to the Heaven”.
The Qingliang (Cooling) Platform was originally named the Qingliang Temple. It was first built in the Yuan Dynasty (1206~1314 A.D.). Situated deep in the forest, it faces the lake and backs the mountain, making it a cool world without summer hot, but with couplets and poems enlightening philosophy of life.
The Yongjin Temple initially built in the Song Dynasty (960~1278 A.D.), is the largest construction with the highest elevation within Xiushan Mountain. It is reputed as the first ancient temple in central Yunnan and has attracted many religious followers within the province. The temple covers an area of about 5,000 square meters, and it consists of buildings such as the gate, the great hall, the side hall, the pavilion, the courtyard, the gallery, and so on. The couplet hanging under the eave of the Ancient Cypress Pavilion is the first palindrome in this mountain and is famous in Yunnan.
The Yongjin Temple is also famous for its three plants named “Three Wonders of the Xiushan Mountain”. They are the old but strong Cypress of the Song Dynasty; the Fir of the Yuan Dynasty, which is thick for filling four or five-person arms together; and the Magnolia of the Ming Dynasty, which is elegant like a maid. These three wonders add glamour to the Yongjin Temple and Xiushan Mountain.
In recent years, the local government of Tonghai County is elaborately developing Xiushan Mountain into a historical and cultural attraction.