Mountain Flying From Afar

Near the Lingyin Temple, across a small stream, is the Flying Mountain, a series of limestone chambers, outcrops and grottoes filled with carved statues. According to legend this mountain flew here from India at the behest of a monk, maybe Qi Gong (but I forget). Some were defaced during the cultural revolution but most survived intact. According the Cloud, many of the intact ones were carved too high on the rock wall for the revolutionaries to commit the effort of climbing up and defacing them.

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According to Lonely Planet there are 470 of these. They vary in size and subject, and tend to pop out of the landscape as one looks across the creek and through the trees. The reclining laughing Mayetreiya is the public face of this monument and all love him. It is not allowed now, but it is clear that in the past, many climbed up to rub his sweet round belly.

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