Tianmu Mountain

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Tianmu Mountain

Tianmu (Heavenly Eyes) Mountain (http://www.chinaculture.org/gb/en_aboutchina/2003-09/24/content_21394.htm) is located northwest of Lin'an in Hangzhou. It is so called because it has two ponds on its eastern and western peaks that appear as eyes gazing at the vault of heaven.

Tianmu Mountain is a well-known nature reserve in China and Zhejiang's only one that is included in the International Network of Biosphere Reserves. It features tall, ancient, and beautifully shaped trees of rare species. It boasts 1,200 varieties of woody plants and 1,800 varieties of herbage. The most famous plant is the gingko tree that has survived from the Paleoglacial Period.

In addition, it also enjoys fame for its Buddhist sites and tourist attractions. The millennium-old Chanyuan Temple, located at the south foot of Western Tianmu Mountain, is where the Linji Sect of Buddhism regained its former glory and is regarded by a Japanese Buddhist sect as its ancestral mountain. Another famous religious venue is the Taizi (Crown Prince) Temple, where Crown Prince Zhaoming of the Liang Dynasty (502-557) pursued his studies in classics and Buddhist scriptures. On the east side of Chanyuan Temple are seven huge boulders arrayed in a manner similar to that of the Big Dipper. Beside these boulders stands a giant but now withered China cedar, which is said to have already been named the "tree of a thousand years" during the Song Dynasty (960-1279). Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty, who lived during the 18th century, named it "Big Tree King" by an imperial decree.

Forestry of Tianmu Mountain