Wutai Mountain, also referred to as Mount Qingliang, is an esteemed Buddhist pilgrimage site located in Shanxi Province, China. The mountain is renowned for its five flat-topped peaks, symbolizing the five wisdoms of Manjusri, the bodhisattva of wisdom. With a history of Buddhist worship and pilgrimage dating back to the 5th century, Wutai Mountain is home to over 50 temples and monasteries, some of which are among the oldest and most influential in China. The cultural and natural significance of Wutai Mountain led to its inscription as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Location: Wutai County, Xinzhou City, Shanxi Province, about 240 km (150 mi) from Taiyuan
- Opening Hours: 8:00 – 17:00 (May vary for different temples)
- Ticket Price: CNY 168 for the entrance fee, CNY 85 for the sightseeing bus (valid for two days)
- Time Needed: 2 ~ 3 days
- Best Time to Visit: June – September for the cool weather and the Buddhist ceremonies, October – November for the autumn foliage
- Suited to: Buddhist pilgrims, culture and nature lovers, photographers
Why Visit Wutai Mountain
- As one of China’s five sacred Buddhist mountains, Wutai Mountain is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can learn about the history and culture of Buddhism as they view the relics and statues of Manjusri, the bodhisattva of wisdom.
- The mountain boasts breathtaking natural scenery, including five flat peaks, lush forests, clear streams, waterfalls, and alpine meadows. Each season offers a unique perspective, from the snow-covered landscape in winter to the colorful flowers in summer.
- Wutai Mountain features a diverse collection of temples and monasteries that showcase the development of Buddhist architecture and art. Some of the oldest and most influential in China include Foguang Temple, Nanchan Temple, and Tayuan Temple.
What to See and Do at Wutai Mountain
Explore the diverse collection of temples and monasteries that showcase the development of Buddhist architecture and art. Some of the most influential and oldest temples in China, including Foguang Temple, Nanchan Temple, and Tayuan Temple, are located here.
Admire the five flat peaks, symbolizing the five wisdoms of Manjusri, the bodhisattva of wisdom. Visitors can hike or take a cable car to the top of each peak and enjoy panoramic views of the mountain and surrounding areas.
Experience the Buddhist culture and ceremonies that have been practiced for over a thousand years by joining the pilgrims and worshipers in chanting, praying, offering incense, and circumambulating the temples. Visitors can also witness some of the grand festivals, such as the Manjusri Birthday Festival on April 4th of the lunar calendar.
Enjoy the natural scenery and wildlife that make Wutai Mountain a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The mountain boasts lush forests, clear streams, waterfalls, and alpine meadows that change with the seasons. Visitors can also spot rare animals and plants that live on the mountain, such as golden monkeys, red deer, snow leopards, and rhododendrons.
Best Time to Visit Wutai Mountain
Seasons: Wutai Mountain experiences a temperate continental climate with four distinct seasons. Spring and autumn are mild and pleasant, while summer and winter are hot and cold respectively. The best time for sightseeing is generally from May to October when the weather conditions are pleasant, and the scenery is beautiful.
Buddhist Festivals: Visitors who wish to experience the Buddhist culture and ceremonies should plan their visit during the grand festivals, such as the Manjusri Birthday Festival on April 4th of the lunar calendar, the Shakyamuni Nirvana Festival on May 15th of the lunar calendar, and the Avalokitesvara Birthday Festival on June 19th of the lunar calendar.
Natural Scenery: Visitors who want to enjoy the natural scenery and wildlife should plan their visit according to the seasons. For instance, winter offers a snow-covered landscape, summer offers colorful flowers, and October and November offer autumn foliage.
Attractions nearby Wutai Mountain
- Lufeng World Dinosaur Valley: This theme park showcases dinosaur fossils, models, exhibitions, and rides. Located in Lufeng County, it’s approximately 38 km from Wutai Mountain.
- Heijing Town: An ancient town with a history of salt production since the Tang dynasty. It’s located in Lufeng County, about 37 km from Wutai Mountain. Visitors can see the well-preserved buildings, monuments, temples, and salt wells that reflect the culture and history of the town.
How to Get to Wutai Mountain
By Flight: Visitors can take a flight to Xinzhou Wutaishan Airport, located approximately 110 km from Wutai Mountain. The airport operates flights to and from several cities, including Shanghai, Chengdu, Nanjing, and Hangzhou. From the airport, visitors can take a taxi or shuttle bus to Wutai Mountain, which takes about 2 hours.
By High-Speed Train: Visitors can take a high-speed train to Wutaishan Railway Station, located approximately 50 km from Wutai Mountain. The station operates trains to and from several cities, including Beijing, Taiyuan, Datong, and Pingyao. From the station, visitors can take a taxi or bus to Wutai Mountain, which takes about 1 hour.
By Normal Train: Visitors can take a normal train to Shahe Railway Station, located approximately 30 km from Wutai Mountain. The station operates trains to and from several cities, including Beijing, Taiyuan, Datong, and Pingyao. From the station, visitors can take a taxi or bus to Wutai Mountain, which takes about 40 minutes.
By Bus: Visitors can take a bus directly to Taihuai Town, the tourist base, and starting point of the Wutai Mountain tour. Buses from several cities, including Beijing, Taiyuan, Datong, and Pingyao, operate to Taihuai Town. The duration of the bus ride depends on the distance and traffic, but it generally takes about 4-6 hours.
Recommended Tour including Wutai Mountain