Niushou Mountain is located in Jiangning District of Nanjing. The mountain twin peaks look like ox horns, hence the name. 1700 years ago, the first founder of the Eastern Jin Dynasty, emperor Yuandi, wanted to set up two magnificent gate towers to symbolize imperial power. However, Prime Minister, Wang Dao, considered it inappropriate to do so. One day, when they looked afar at the east and west peak of Niushou Mountain, the Minister suggested that the two peaks were the most suitable heavenly-made gate towers. Hence, the name Tianque Mountain.
The beautiful scenery of Niushou Mountain in spring has been widely known. With profound culture, it is the location for battle against Jin Wuzhu led by Yuefei and tomb of Zheng He. With abundant Buddhism culture, Niutou Sect of Chinese Zen Buddhism is cultivated and developed here.
Nanjing Niushou Mountain Cultural Tourism Zone is a recent major cultural project of Nanjing. Based on the philosophy of establishing “new heritage of world Buddhism culture, and new sight of modern architecture art”, with the theme of “long–time enshrining of Buddhist holy relic--Usnisa”, the whole tourist attraction takes full advantage of ecological, cultural and tourism resources to create the wonderful scenery for ecology, culture and leisure.
The core of scenic area construction is as follows: fixing the heavenly peaks, meaning restoring mountain massif and recovering twin peaks; building underground palace, meaning making use of the natural pit to build Usnisa Palace for enshrining Usnisa; renovating the sacred road, meaning expanding original tunnel for exhibiting Sakyamuni’s life story and understanding the way to become Buddha; revealing twin pagodas, meaning constructing Usnisa Pagoda and reproducing the grand pattern of twin pagodas; spreading five levels of Chan(Zen Buddhism) and understanding the atmosphere of Chan in rivers and mountains.
Important Sightseeing Tips:
Niushou Mountain is located in subtropical monsoon humid area and belongs to hilly region. Made of igneous rock, it has rich topography and vegetation, therefore, it rains frequently.
The spring rain from April to May presents mist view. The summer rain from June to July makes the plants flourish. The autumn rain from September to October enriches the Buddhism atmosphere here in Niushou Mountain.
Sightseeing Cycle :
Spring Theme:This 200-meter long section is planted with sakura trees, symbolizing spring. The flowering period of sakura lasts only seven days, which stands for the transitory nature of life, reminding us to cherish life and practice Buddhism to get enlightenment.
Summer Theme:This section with bamboo forest stands for summer. Hollow bamboo with nothing inside symbolizes emptiness in Buddhism. In Niutou Chan, green bamboo is regarded as the embodiment of Buddhist truth.
Autumn Theme:This section with fruit trees stands for autumn. In Buddhism, you reap what you sow. If you want to accumulate merits, you have to have a kind heart, say nice words and do good deeds.
Winter Theme: The end of the road stands for winter with cedar and winter sweet. In Buddhism, the appreciation of cedar and winter sweet helps to comprehend Buddha dharma.