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Wǔtái Shān & Táihuái

History

For almost as long as Buddhism has existed in China, Wǔtái Shān has been a place of pilgrimage and study. It’s believed that by the 6th century there were already 200 temples in the area, and in the Tang dynasty it was one of the major centres of worship in Asia, attracting tens of thousands of pilgrims from across China, India, Korea and Japan. Almost all temples were destroyed during the official persecution of Buddhism in the 9th century, except for two southwest of Táihuái. In the Ming dynasty, Wǔtái Shān began attracting large numbers of Tibetan Buddhists (principally from Mongolia) for whom Manjusri holds special significance.

Many temples in Táihuái contain a statue of Manjusri, who is generally depicted riding a lion and holding a sword used to cleave ignorance and illusion. If you have an affinity for either flaw, watch your step.