Located in the south of China in Guizhou Province, Fanjingshan is the main peak of the Wuling Mountain Range. The biosphere reserve is situated in the Chinese Subtropical Forest biogeographic region and its altitude ranges from 480 to 2,570 meters above sea level. It is known for its large protophyte forests, the only well-preserved primitive forest ecosystem on the same latitude in the world, as well as for its endemic golden monkey (Rhinopithecus brelichi) population. |
Some 1,100 people live permanently in the core area and 15,000 in the buffer zone of the biosphere reserve (1999) which is situated in one of China’s poorest areas.
The area has been a sacred site for Buddhism since the Ming Dynasty. In the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), there were 48 Buddhist temples here. From the many remains of temples and precious stone tablets left, one can imagine the celestial atmosphere of that time.
The most famous Colden Summit in China is the peak of Emeishan in Sichuan. Fanjingshan, not to be outdone, has three Golden Summists. One on Fenghuangshan, the main peak of Fanjingshan, 2,572 meters above sea level, which once had temples where pilgrims would pray. The second on Laoshan, 2,493 meters above sea level, which also had temples for Buddhist followers. The third, called Fanjing Golden Summit, a 94-meter-high huge rock, is 2,336 meters above sea level between Fenghuang Golden Summit and Laoshan Golden Summit. Its top is often shrouded in colorful clouds, hence its name 紅雲頂 Hongyunding, Red Summit.