Peak Flown From Afar

Peak Flown From Afar

Fei Lai Feng             Bookmark and Share

Fei Lai Feng (Peak Flown From Afar, also named Ling Jiu Feng), stands next to Ling Yin Temple and is a must-see in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. There are many legends about the peak's name. A well-known legend states that an Indian monk named Huili arrived in the valley 1,600 years ago and was surprised to see a peak so dissimilar from any other one in the valley. He believed that the peak had flown over from India because the shape, although unique in China, was common in India. However, he did not know why the peak would have flown to this spot so far from his country. Hence the peak's name was created and has passed down to the present day.

Fei Lai Feng, 209 meters (about 700 feet) tall, is a pure limestone mountain that is very distinctive from the sandstone mountains around it. Large stones scattered along the peak are said to resemble animals like a flying dragon, a running elephant, a crouching tiger, and a fleeing monkey. On the other side of the peak, a pavilion named Cui Wei was erected to immortalize the national hero Yue Fei. This man contributed greatly in the war against Jin Tribe during the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279).The pavilion was destroyed many times before the large restoration of 1942. The current pavilion keeps its old face with fresh paint.

Peak Flown From Afar

Fei Lai Feng Grotties

The caves of this mountain shelter about 330 stone statues dating from the 10th to the 14th centuries. The statues appear in a variety of poses ranging from standing, to sitting, to sleeping. A favorite may be the Laughing Buddha, sitting on the cliff along the stream with exposed breast and belly. If you wonder why he has such a big belly, the answer is that his belly is where the Buddha keeps all of the world's troubles. The question always comes out "why are there so many Buddha statues in the cave?" Local legend has it that the peak had destroyed many villages before it settled down in Hangzhou. In order to prevent the peak from causing even more damage, over 500 Buddha statues were caved out of the peak to suppress it. Consequently, the water-eroded caves in the peak are regarded as the very birthplace of many local legends.

The Feilai Feng Grottoes

Feilai Feng, or "the Peak that Flew Hither", also commonly translated as "Flying Peak", is located in front of the temple proper. The peak is so-named because it is made of limestone, giving it a craggy appearance very different from the surrounding mountains. Legend holds that the peak was originally from India (with some versions suggesting that it is Vulture Peak), but flew to Hangzhou overnight as a demonstration of the omnipotence of Buddhist law. A large number of carvings dot the surface of the peak. More are located in various caves and grottoes throughout the peak. Within the main cave, dedicated to the bodhisattva Guanyin, there is a crack in the ceiling of the cave that stretches up to the surface, so that a person standing at a certain position can see a sliver of sunlight. This is known as the "one thread of heaven"

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