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Ningbo -- Ancient Seaport
Ningbo, on the coast of the East China Sea in northern Zhejiang Province, is the terminus of the Xiaoshan-Ningbo Railway. Only 140 nautical miles from Shanghai and facing the Zhoushan Islands across the sea, it is a center of land and water communications. With a population of 740,000, it is ranked as the province's second largest city and has remained one of China's major foreign trade ports since the Tang Dynasty. Because of the city's long history, tourists to its temples, hills, and gardens.

Tiantong Temple

This huge, 1,600-year-old temple in the verdant Taibai Hills once had some 990 rooms. Rebuilt in 1980, it now has 730 rooms occupying 44,600 square meters. Venerable cypresses dating from the Tang Dynasty tower in the temple courtyards. If you stamp your foot on the Piba Stone in front of the temple gate, you will hear the sound resembling beads dropping on a jade plate. The Sutra Storage Tower (Cangjinglou) contains valuable Buddhist scriptures as well as book and paintings. There is an enormous cauldron in the temple said to be capable of cooking food for more than a thousand monks.

King Ayu Temple

Built on King Ayu Hill fifteen kilometers outside the city, this temple is said to house a piece pf Sakyamuni's parietal bone in its Buddhist Shrine Hall (Shilidian).Monk Jian Zhen, who made six attempts to sail to Japan t o preach Buddhism, once visited the temple.

Tianyi Tower

Built during the period from 1561 to 1566 in West Ningbo, Tianyi Tower is a famous old library which used to house an enormous collection of rare volumes, including block-printed and hand-copied books and manuscripts. Most of the original collection was lost, but a special agency has now been set up to take care of the books stored in the tower. Totaling 300,000 volumes, the current collection includes many of the original books, now rediscovered, and a great number donated by individuals.

Mount Putuo

Situated north of Ningbo as part of the Zhoushan Islands, Mount Putuo measures 8.6 kilometers from north to south and 3.5 kilometers from east to west and covers some 13 square kilometers. The Buddha Peak (Fodingshan), the highest peak at the Mountain, rises 291 meters above sea level. Mount Putuo is one of the four sacred sites for Buddhists in China. There are three huge temples on the hills-Puji Temple, Fayu Temple, and Huiji Temple - which are representative of the architecture of the early Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

Mount Putuo is now also a summer resort and tourist attraction. There are a great many scenic spots on the hills, the most notable being Wave Sound Cave (Chaoyingdong), Purple Bamboo Forest (Zizhulin), Pantuo Rock, Two Turtles Listening to Lecture on Buddhist Doctrine (Erguitingfashi), South Heavenly Gate (Nantianmen), and West Heavenly Gate (Xitianmen).
There are boats between Ningbo and the island taking visitors to and back from Mount Putuo.


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