Xuedou Mountain – Ticket, Opening Hours, Location, and Highlights

xuedou mountain

Xuedou Mountain (雪窦山), located in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, is the highest peak of the Siming Mountains’ branch, standing at an altitude of 800 meters. Revered as the “Number One Mountain of the Siming Mountains,” it holds the distinction of being one of China’s five major Buddhist mountains and serves as the dojo of Maitreya Buddha. Emperor Renzong of the Song Dynasty once dreamt of this mountain, and Emperor Lizong of the Song Dynasty subsequently named it after his dream.

The scenic area is centered around the ancient Xuedou Temple and the Qianzhangyan Waterfall, surrounded by a picturesque landscape. To the east lie peaks such as Wulei, Suoluo, and Dongcui; to the west is Pingfeng Mountain; to the south are Tianma and Cuiluan; and to the southwest are Xiangbi, Shisun, and Rufeng. In the midst lies a vast expanse of flat land crisscrossed with paths, adorned with beautiful scenery, pleasant climate, and attractions like the Qianzhangyan Waterfall, Miaogao Terrace, Xufu Cliff, Shangliangang Forest, and Sanyin Pool Waterfall. The area boasts a diverse ecosystem, with over 1600 species of wildlife and habitat for more than 20 species of nationally protected animals.

Table of Contents

Basic Information

Estimated Length of Tour1 day
Ticket Price150 RMB (admission + shuttle bus)
50 RMB (cable car + sightseeing mini train)
Opening Hours8.00 – 17.00 (1st May – 31st September)
8.30 – 16.30 (1st October – 30th April)
Telephone Number0086-400-181-7718

Location and Transportation

Xuedou Mountain is located in the northwest of Xikou Town, Fenghua District, Ningbo City, Zhejiang Province. To reach Xuedou Mountain:

  1. From Shanghai, there are tourist buses departing from Shanghai Tourism Distribution Center to Xikou. Buses leave at 6:30 AM from Hongkou Football Stadium and at 7:00 AM from Shanghai Stadium on Saturdays. Return trips from Xikou depart at 4:00 PM on Sundays.
  2. Visitors from downtown Ningbo can take bus route 988 from Ningbo Train Station South Square Bus Terminal or QF Textile City Station directly to Xuedou Mountain. The fare is 5 yuan, and the journey covers 35 kilometers, taking about half an hour to reach the Xuedou Mountain Visitor Center. Buses operate from 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM.

Highlights of Xuedou Mountain

Xufu Cliff Waterfall

xufu cliff waterfall in xuedou mountain

Xufu Cliff Waterfall, located west of Xuedou Temple near Xufuyan Village, sits atop a cliff at an elevation of 476 meters. Legend has it that immortals rode ducks leisurely into the sky from this cliff, hence its name. At the top of the cliff, there is an ancient stone bridge spanning the ravine, where the stream from Chouhuling Forest trickles gently before cascading vigorously downstream, creating a thunderous roar that reverberates through the valley. With a drop of 116 meters and no obstructing rocks, the waterfall flows freely to the bottom. Below the precipice, a spacious gap separates the water curtain from the rock wall, creating a serene space akin to sitting in a light canopy. The misty atmosphere and the tranquil pool beneath the waterfall add to the enchanting ambiance, making it a captivating sight for visitors. The water then flows out of the pool, forming a stream that meanders through the valley floor.

San Yin Tan (Three Hidden Pools)

three hidden pools in xuedou mountain 2

San Yin Tan, or the Three Hidden Pools, is a scenic spot on Xuedou Mountain consisting of three cascading waterfalls with a total length of over 1600 meters. Named for their secluded location within the valley and the presence of three pools, San Yin Tan is renowned for its rugged beauty. The Upper Hidden Pool is known for its steep and perilous terrain. Descending from the cliff top to the pool bottom, visitors navigate 216 stone steps resembling a heavenly ladder. At the bottom of the pool, a stone bridge spans the waters. The waterfall pours down the cliffside, approximately 40 meters high, forming a linear cascade that emits a roaring sound. Standing on the bridge beside the pool, mist envelops the surroundings, and splashes of water cool the air.

Adjacent to the Upper Hidden Pool is the Dragon King Temple, occupying an area of approximately 160 square meters. Inside the temple, three Dragon Kings are enshrined: the central one is the Azure Dragon, prayed to for national prosperity and bumper harvests; the one on the left is the Purple Dragon, invoked for success in academic pursuits; and the one on the right is the Yellow Dragon, believed to bestow wealth and prosperity. Visitors can choose to pay homage to the Dragon King of their choice according to their needs.

three hidden pools in xuedou mountain 1

Descending about 500 meters from the Upper Hidden Pool, one arrives at the Middle Hidden Pool. Here, massive rocks lie across the stream, and the waterfall cascades down from the giant boulders, meandering in an S-shape, creating a mixture of rapids and calm pools. Water splashes and mists fill the air, evoking a poetic and picturesque atmosphere while also showcasing the wild beauty of the valley.

Continuing along the mountain path from the Middle Hidden Pool for another 500 meters leads to the Lower Hidden Pool, where the scenery combines peaks, caves, pools, and streams into a breathtaking panorama. Here, two branches of the waterfall converge, earning the nickname “Mandarin Duck Falls.” Adjacent to the Lower Hidden Pool is a massive stone slab measuring approximately 10 square meters, with a stone stalactite nearby standing over 20 meters tall, known as the “Stalactite Peak.”

Xuedou Temple

xuedou temple in xuedou mountain

Xuedou Temple, located in the heart of Xuedou Mountain, boasts a long and storied history dating back to the Jin Dynasty when it was established as “Waterfall Monastery,” making it over 1700 years old. In the year 999 AD, Emperor Zhenzong of the Northern Song Dynasty bestowed the temple with the name “Xuedou Zisheng Chan Temple.” During the reign of Emperor Ningzong of the Southern Song Dynasty, a nationwide classification of temples was conducted, and Xuedou was recognized as one of the “Five Mountains and Ten Monasteries.”

Inside the temple’s entrance gate stand two magnificent trees known as ginkgo biloba, also called maidenhair trees or gongsun trees. These two ginkgo trees are distinguished as male and female, with the left one being female and the right one male. What’s particularly precious about them is that they were planted during the Han Dynasty. Next to the male tree stands a stone stele inscribed with the words “The Auspicious Place of Maitreya’s Manifestation.” This indicates the deep connection between Maitreya Buddha and Xuedou Temple.

Maitreya Buddha Statue

Maitreya Buddha Statue in Xuedou Mountain

The open-air Maitreya Buddha on Xuedou Mountain is situated on a slope with an elevation of 369 meters behind Xuedou Temple. Covering a planned area of 52 hectares, the site comprises three main axes and six major functional zones. The total height of the open-air Maitreya Buddha statue is 56.74 meters, with the bronze Buddha statue standing at 33 meters, the lotus pedestal at 9 meters, and the base at 14.74 meters. The entire Buddha statue is made of over 500 tons of tin bronze, supported by a steel frame weighing over 1000 tons internally, seamlessly integrated with the rock formation, ensuring stability and grandeur. It stands as the tallest seated bronze Maitreya Buddha statue globally.

Fenghua is believed to be the birthplace, enlightenment site, and nirvana location of the legendary Maitreya incarnation, Budai Monk. The open-air Maitreya Buddha statue on Xuedou Mountain is modeled after the appearance of Budai Monk.

Other Attractions near Xuedou Mountain

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