Nanjing Niushou Mountain Cultural Tourism Zone locates in the Jiangning District in Nanjing. The tourism zone aims to establish a new heritage of Buddhism culture and a new landscape of modern architecture art. The theme of which is “Long-term Enshrining of Buddhist Holy Relic - Usnisa”. The whole tourism zone takes full advantage of resources, creating a tourism destination of ecology, culture and leisure.
History of Niushou Mountain
Niushou Mountain, also known as Tianque Mountain. The east and west peaks look like two horns on the head of a cow, hence the name.
About 1,700 years ago, the first founder of Eastern Jin Dynasty (317-420), Emperor Yuandi, planned to build two magnificent gate towers to symbolize imperial power. However, one day, when they looked afar at the east and west peaks of Niushou Mountain, the ancient Prime Minister of the state suggested that the two peaks were the most suitable heavenly gate towers, hence got the name of Tianque Mountain.
Highlights at Niushou Mountain
Niushou Mountain has the beautiful and charming natural scenery especially in spring. There is a saying of “Spring Niushou”. It also has plentiful cultural heritages, including Usnisa Palace, Usnisa Pagoda, Usnisa Temple, and Niutou Chan Culture Park.
In spring, the mountain is decorated with cherry blossom, symbolizing spring. The cherry blossom represents the transitory nature of life, reminding people to cherish life and practice Buddhism to get enlightenment.
Usnisa Palace lies on the west peak of Niushou Mountain. The palace is 220 meters long, 160 meters wide and 89.3 meters high, covering about 136,000 square meters. The outer space is divided into two parts: the large dome and the small dome. The inner space has nine floors, with 6 floors underground and 3 floors on the ground. Usnisa Worshipping Palace is located 44 meters underground, where Usnisa will be enshrined here for a long time. This palace symbolizes charity, patience under insult, progress, meditation and wisdom.
Usnisa Pagoda is built as the ancient Tang style architecture. It is 88 meters tall with 9 floors, covering a building area of 4,677 square meters. On the 8th floor, there is a Usnisa Vajra Clock made of bronze. The Buddha Statue is enshrined on the 9th floor. On the top, tourists can have a panoramic view of Niushou Mountain.
Usnisa Temple is the preaching site of the monks, with an area of 23,731 square meters. Featured by courtyard style, it is also characterized as palace style. The whole temple is divided into worshipping Buddha area, preaching area, vegetarian dinner area and monks' living area.
Niutou Chan Culture Park is built based on site of Hongjue Temple. The Hongjue Temple, originally called asFoku Temple, was built in 503. It is the origin of Niutou Sect of the Chinese Zen Buddhism. The Pagoda of Hongjue Temple in the park is the oldest-existing brick pagoda imitating wood structure in Nanjing, which is 45 meters high with seven stories. Many valuable relics were unearthed in the underground palace of the pagoda in 1956.