With a long history, Anhui owns 15 places of interests which belong to national main cultural relic protection units, 331 places of interests which belong to provincial cultural relic protection units, 3 national famous historical culture cities and 11 provincial famous historical culture cities. Anhui's historical and tourist sights are mainly in the south, and hence more accessible from Hangzhou or Shanghai than from the provincial capital, Hefei. Most famous are the spectacular Huangshan (Yellow Mountains), in the far south of the province, and nearby Jiuhuashan. The Yangzi River ports of Guichi and Wuhu are convenient jumping-off points for the Jiuhuashan and Huangshan mountains.
Anhui is located in the southeast region of China, covering an area of 139 square kilometers and neighboring with Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Hubei, Henan, and Shandong Provinces. Anhui is rich in natural beauty. The mountains of Huangshan are said to be among the most beautiful mountains in China, with lakes, hot springs, pine trees and unique rock formations. Jinhua Mountain contains a cluster of Buddhist monasteries and is a popular place of pilgrimage. Besides, Jiyu Mountain, Tianzhu Mountain, Langya Mountain, Jingting Mountain in Xuan City, Caishiji in Ma'anshan, Chao Lake and Taiping Lake are also nationwide famous places.
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The mountains are so beautiful and famous that the city of Tunxi is often better known as Huangshan City. The diverse topography includes bamboo forests, cascading waterfalls, clear lakes, hot springs, pine trees and quaint rock formations. It is often said that one only needs to visit Huangshan to get a taste of all the grand mountains in China.
The charm and mystique of the mountains have long lured artists, emperors, leaders and the pilgrims. Even today, many Chinese want to conquer this mountain, so the mountain paths are often busy with hikers. For the less energetic, there are also 3 cable cars that transport you to the peaks in comfort.
The original name of the mountain was Mt. Jiuzishan. However it was renamed Mt. Jiuhuashan, meaning "the Mountain of the Nine Lotuses," originated from the poem written by Li Bai, the famous poet of the Tang dynasty: "From the azure skies above descends a jade-like flow, and nine fascinating lotuses rise out of the hills below."
It was not until the late eighth century, the mountain became a place where religious rites were held to worship the god of earth. The construction of temples started in the Tang dynasty and their enlargement continued in the following dynasties. By the middle of the Qing dynasty, over 300 temples had been set up on the mountain where 5,000 Buddhist monks and nuns were in residence. Up till now there are still over 50 well-preserved temples and more than 6,000 sculptured Buddhas. No wonder that Mt. Jiuhuashan became one of the four great Buddhist mountains in China (the other three are Mt. Emeishan in Sichuan, Mt. Wutaishan in Shanxi and the Mt. Putuoshan in Zhejiang). Huacheng Temple is the oldest among all temples on Mt. Jiuhuashan. Simple and solemn, it has engraved lintels, brackets and roofs. In the Historical Relics Museum of Mt. Jiuhuashan are on display many precious sutras and cultural relics contained in Huacheng and other temples. The Corporeal Body Hall of Wannian Temple houses the well-preserved mummy of Monk Wu Xia, wearing a lotus-flower shaped crown and a vermilion kasaya.