No. 123: Dailuo Peak, Wutai Shan, Shanxi

(This article was published in the Shenzhen Daily on March 9, 2015.)

The main hall is in a shady courtyard at Dailuo Peak (黛螺顶), Wutai Shan, Shanxi (山西, 五台山).

August 26, 2012 - Dailuo Ding ("Black Snail Peak") is the name both of a mountain height and of a temple located on its side. The place is also sometimes called Daluo ("Big Snail") as one part of the peak resembles a snail's shell (they say).

It was late in the day before I started up; the Sunday morning crowds and an early afternoon rainstorm had kept me in. I opted to take the rickety "ropeway" (like a ski lift) to the top, and would take the horse trail down as it seemed shorter (though muddier) and the sky was still threatening.

Once I got inside the spacious compound, the first thing I noticed was a cob of corn outside of the Drum Tower, with half of its kernels removed and lying around it. Watching for a few moments, I saw a small, striped chipmunk emerge from the tower and eat his fill. Two nearby monks looked on with pleased expressions. I liked this place!

Another interesting sight here is the Hall of Manjushri of Five Directions. There are five statue in the hall representing each of the five peaks of Wutai (Five Terrace) Mountain, which is dedicated to this bodhisattva.

When I reached the main hall I noticed that, while the Chinese signage was correct, the English signage had misidentified two of the figures, describing the Buddhas of the Past and Future instead of the Medicine Buddha and Amitabha. When I brought this to the attention of the attendant monk, he thanked me, asked me to write down the proper English spellings--then took me into the Abbot's Hall! I had tea with the Abbot, who gave me a beautiful set of beads stamped with the temple's name.

Slipping down the horse trail, I stopped in at Jinjie Temple, under construction, before returning to my hotel. I had only crossed one temple off my list for the day, but it had been a good one!

GPS Info:
  • 39.01014, 113.60768


(Regarding problems with this map, please see the CHINA section on this page.)


More pictures can be found here.

The temple's gateway says "Daluo" rather than "Dailuo Ding."

A chipmunk eats his fill of corn left by kindly monks.

The Hall of Manjushri of the Five Directions

Visitors descend from Dailuo Peak on horseback, while others ride the ropeway behind.

Jinjie Temple is under construction at the base of the horse trail from Dailuo Peak.

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