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HOME: China Stamps 1997: 1997-11
1997-11, Scott 2776-81 Ancient Temples in Wutai Mountain
Temple Complex in Taihuai Township
(6-1), Temple Complex in Taihuai Township, 40 fen, 50*30mm
Large Picture
Great Hall of Nanchan Temple
(6-2), Great Hall of Nanchan Temple, 50 fen, 50*30mm
Large Picture
Eastern Hall of Foguang Temple
(6-3), Eastern Hall of Foguang Temple, 50 fen, 50*30mm
Large Picture
Bronze Hall of Xiantong Temple
(6-4), Bronze Hall of Xiantong Temple, 150 fen, 50*30mm
Large Picture
Bodhisattva Summit
(6-5), Bodhisattva Summit, 150 fen, 50*30mm
Large Picture
Zhenhai Temple
(6-6), Zhenhai Temple, 200 fen, 50*30mm
Large Picture
Technical details
Scott No: 2776-81
Serial number: 1997-11
Values in set: 6
Date of issue: Yan Bingwu; Yang Wenqing
Designers: July 26,1997
Size: 50*30mm
Perforation: 12
Sheet composition: 40
Printing process: offset
Background
Mt. Wutai is located in the northeastern part of Wutai County, Shanxi Province. Together with Mt. Emei in Sichuan Province, Mt. Putuo in Zhejiang Province, Mt. Jiuhua in Anhui Province, they are called the four most well-known Buddhist mountains in China. Consisting of five peaks with the Yedou Peak as its north terrace, Jinxiu Peak as its south terrace, Wang hai Peak as its east terrace, Guayue Peak as its west terrace and Cuiyan Peak as its central terrace, and because its peak tops are platform-shaped, it is thus named Mt. Wutai (five platforms). With no sizzling weather in summer and with cool, and pleasant days throughout the year, it is also called Mt. Qingliang (mount of coolness). Natural peaks and deep valleys, ancient pines and brooks, and temples, halls and pavilions built by architects and builders in the past dynasties together form the magnificent scenery of Mt. Wutai.

Mt Wutai has a long history, Judging from the ancient sites, Chinese ancestors began to labor and thrive here as early as the New Stone Age. During the Northern Wei Dynasty and with the rise of Buddhism, there emerged the first peak for the construction of temples at Mt. Wutai. Of these temples, the Dafulingjiu Temple, covering about 1,000 mu of land, is the largest among the more than 200 temples in the mountains. Buddhism reached its pinnacle during the Sui and the Tang dynasties, and there were more than 360 temples in Mt. Wutai at that time.

At present, there are about 50 Buddhist temples in Mt. Wutai which are still kept intact, Taihuai Town is the place where temples concentrate, including the Xiantong Temple, Tayuan Temple and the Pusa Ding (Buddha Top). Some of these temples are finely structured and built, with fine engravings and magnificent paintings. There are grandiose halls, high rising pagodas and solemn screen walls, archways, finely-engraved railings and stairways. They reflect, from different angles, Chinese achievements of brick-stone buildings in the ancient time. The Dabai Pagoda in the Tayuan Temple, the representative among them, is 56.3 metres in height. The pagoda is imposing and perpendicular, and its foundation is solid and broad. It is surrounded by winding corridors and is known as symbol of Mt. Wutai.
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