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“Amazing and absorbing Buddhist complex”

Niushoushan Forestal Park
Ranked #35 of 403 things to do in Nanjing
Attraction details
Reviewed 7 June 2017

It was a huge area and it was beyond my expectations. The place is still being developed hence some areas are not yet accessible. An absorbing experience in visiting the Usnisa Palace which is several floors deep down from the ground level. An escalator takes visitors to a huge hall with numerous Buddha statues. Photos are allowed (no flashlight). The huge structure above ground is actually an enormous Buddha statue (lying down) and the Usnisa Palace is located under it. The park is very large so it is advisable to take the shuttle bus, at a small fee. One has to see it to believe it; it is quite amazing.One may wonder why the government has spent billions of RMB to build this religious complex at Nanjing; it might be that many people had lost their lives in Nanjing during WWII.

Date of experience: May 2017
Thank yipjcs88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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8 - 12 of 27 reviews

Reviewed 23 May 2017 via mobile

We came to Nanjing to visit Maoshan a mountain which is meant to be a holy place for Taoism. We then heard that there is another mountain with Buddha's relic.

A 45 minute taxi ride from Nanjing city, this is a large park built at Niushou Shan (mountain) and the government spent RMB4 billion. There are various places to visit in the park and shuttle buses ferrying visitors from one place to another for RMB20. There are 2 routes and entrance fees is dependent on which routes you take.

We didn't have much time to visit so we focused on the Usnisa Palace which houses the Buddha's relic. A modern building that is 9 storeys and built into an iron quarry. There are rooms for prayers and lots of Buddhist statues. The main attraction is a room filled with Buddha paintings and statues - very colourful and nice lighting.

Admiral Zheng He who navigated the world 7 times and some said to reach the Americas before Columbus is buried in a spot within these mountains.

This park was reopened in 2015 and not many people are aware of it yet. So it is well worth a visit especially for Buddhists.

Date of experience: May 2017
1  Thank JoeCool_KL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 April 2017

During the time when I came, it wasn't even that cold. Therefore, I still saw many trees that blossomed while going around there. The Shan Mei tree was the one that still blossomed in Nov! Then the large pagoda in the middle of the park was one of the tallest places that I've seen. Overall, it left an unforgettable experience for me that I really liked it!

Date of experience: May 2016
Thank Laxiaozi08200912
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 April 2017

Didn't quite know what we would find and it was way more than we expected, although new still has history there, could have spent more time there - know for next time.

Date of experience: January 2017
Thank AnnaMA2002
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 13 February 2017

Jaw dropping update of historic monastery. Like visiting the Crystal Cathedral or the Cathedral of Brasilia, who says that religious sites have to ancient and musty? Made up of a pagoda, a temple/monastery, and a "palace", this Buddhist Theme Park will become one of the main attractions in this history packed city.

About halfway inbetween the city and the airport, Niushoushan is the site of ancient buddhist monasteries that date back 1200 years, and was also briefly the Court of the breakaway Southern Tang Dynasty of the mid 900's AD. It has historically housed a relic of the Gautama Buddha. But also because of its historical associations, it has been the focus of political "statements" culminating in the digging up of the hill in the last century for an iron mine and stone quarry.

Fast forward to this century, through a public-private partnership, the local government has channelled billions of yuan of investment into redeveloping Niushoushan. The idea is to update the Buddhist themed hill into the 21st century. And did they ever. The pagoda is a rare square shape and sits besides the elegant temple monastery with brilliant gold and exquisitely carved and painted saints, bodhi's, and buddhas. The palace is on a different part of the hill and a long hike (or short ride) away. It is built into the pit that was the iron mine quarry. So the nine story palace takes advantage by building into the already excavated hillside, even using the stark scarred hillsides as a savage zen aesthetic backdrop.

While the temple and pagoda are beautiful, they are updates of similar structures seen around the buddhist world. The palace is the real star attraction. Nine storeys tall, it houses the re-emerged relic in a gigantic crystal chamber at least 50 yards across. On another floor is a buddhist worship room worthy of any Burmese Shrine with ceiling studded with larger than life floating bodhi's. There is a spa-like chamber with ornate trees and a thirty foot reclining buddha set amongst halls lined with thousands of different buddhas representing every possible flavor of buddhism.

This site re-opened only recently, so it is still missing concessions like hotels and refreshment stands. There is a sit down vegetarian canteen at the palace. Still, suggest bringing your own water and snacks. And be prepared for the level of time commitment and physical exertion one would normally reserve for touring the five DisneyWorld parks --- if they were set into a hillside.

Date of experience: February 2017
2  Thank James W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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