Fei Lai Feng in English means “Peak Flown From Afar” is the mountain with impressive Buddhist grottoes. Besides West Lake, this is a must-visit place in Zhejiang province.
1. You find 340 stone statues here
The mountain is carved with a collection of Buddhist statues dating back to the 10-14th century. In total there are about 340 ancient stone statues carved into the limestone cave.
Below is the Buddhist Statues of the Three Saints of Huayan carved at the entrance
2. Statues are found in a different pose
The statues appear in a variety of poses, some are standing, sitting or sleeping.
3. Why rock carving?
Carving on the rock is important in ancient times because they represent the earliest form of creativity of the human mind. Another good thing about rock carving is it tells us about our history.
Below is the 18 arhats carved on the wall of the cave.
4. Lucky escape from the Cultural Revolution
During the Cultural Revolution, the temple and grounds suffered some damage at the hands of Red Guards. However, they escaped large scale destruction partly because of the protection of Premier Zhou Enlai.
Below is another 3 arhats.
5. Elder Li’s Pagoda (理公塔)
It houses the ashes of Huili, the Indian monk who founded the Lingyin Temple (just right next door) in 326AD. Fei Lai Feng is only a few minutes away from Lingyin Temple. People usually visit both in a day.
The statue was Sakyamuni, a Sanskrit-style carved in Yuan Dynasty
The Guanyin Statue inside Longhong Cave.
6. “One thread of heaven” (一线天; Yixian Tian)
Legend holds that the peak was originally from India (with some versions suggesting that it is Vulture Peak), but flew to Hangzhou overnight as a demonstration of the omnipotence of Buddhist law. Many rock reliefs dot the surface of the peak. More are located in various caves and grottoes throughout the peak. Within the main cave, dedicated to the bodhisattva Guanyin, there is a crack in the ceiling of the cave that stretches up to the surface, so that a person standing at a certain position can see a sliver of sunlight. This is known as the “one thread of heaven” (一线天; Yīxiàn Tiān)
7. Star of Fei Lai Feng
Among them, the largest statue of the smiling Buddha is the best-preserved one of its kind and embodies the artistry of carving in the Song Dynasty.
This place is crowded during weekends and on public holidays. Best time to visit: from March to May with spring blossoms and extremely beautiful sceneries.
After you have visited Fei Lai Feng, walk a little bit and you will find Linying Temple which is another important site here.