The spectacular Mount Emei Shan is a well-known landmark upon Sichuan’s verdant landscape. Hikers to the summit will have the pleasure of witnessing vibrant sunsets at mesmerizingly high altitudes, at which the phenomenon known as the “sea of clouds” will unfold in visual brilliance, right before your eyes. An enchanting carpet of velvet clouds stretch out as far as the eye can see, moving from the deepest purple to the most resplendent yellow as the sun rises. It is truly a one-of-a-kind spectacle that must be witnessed firsthand.
Further down the mountain, you will encounter the sublime surrounds of the Baoguo Temple, which came to life in the 16th century. As it faces the east, the sunrises it bears witness to are simply divine, and utterly transporting. Soaking up the idyllic scenic beauty here is only part of the attraction; however, as an intriguing collection of cultural artefacts enshrined within the temple merit further exploration.
Cross the main threshold of the temple and allow the charming rockery located off to the left to instill a sensation of natural appreciation. Encounter a lovely selection of potted miniature trees, as well as a collection of rare plants that grow well in this salubrious climate at this location. Saunter on to encounter the Laughing Buddha Hall, dedicated to its eponymous patron, who imbues the structure with a unique sense of abundance and peace.
Enter into serenity as you find yourself within the Great Hero Hall, which enshrines and venerates the Sakyamuni Buddha, beautifully depicted here within the throes of transcendent tranquility upon a lotus flower. Framing both sides of the expansive hall are 18 sculptures of arahats, followers of the Buddha on their way to the cessation of suffering.
An awe-inspiring sight awaits you at the Seven Buddhas’ Palace, which depicts seven Buddha statues, each rendered in molten gold, and spanning a resplendent 20 metres in height, peacefully occupying a brick base of blue. The last hall in the complex holds a collection of Buddhist manuscripts, and venerates the deity who represents the element of Universal Benevolence.
Feel free to walk around this charming temple complex, and pause to meditate and contemplate at the pavilions and platforms adorning the site. Baoguo embodies the harmonious elements and sleek lines of Chinese architecture that render it a most unique locality that must be savoured firsthand when you travels bring you to Sichuan.
If you are interesting in exploring more of the area’s sights and attractions, you will come across many a fine Sichuan hotel to serve as an excellent host for your travels. The Anantara Emei Resort & Spa, China prides itself on embodying the most ideal aspects of a luxury Emeishan hotel from which to launch all your cultural explorations.
Angela Fernando is an impassioned travel writer who composes pieces under the pen name Sumaira Narayan. She loves writing about new and exciting places around the world and hopes to visit them all someday. Google+