Eight Great Sights, Western Mountains Badachu
The Badachu comprising eight temples is situated on the Cuiweishan and Lushishan mountains to the south of the Xishan range. Seven of the temples line a footpath that runs uphill through a wooded valley. It is possible to go up in a chair-lift and enjoy the fantastic views from the top across to Beijing, and then walk back down.
Temple of Eternal Peace
The Temple of Eternal Peace (Chang'an Si) on the Cuiweishan was erected in 1504. In the first hall is a bronze statue of Guan Yu who was a general at the time of the three empires (220-280); the second hall is dedicated to Shakyamuni.A further hall is dedicated to the Goddess Niangniang who is believed to fulfill the wish for children.
Temple of Godly Light
To the north of the Chang'sn Si is the Temple of Godly Light (Lingguang Si). Like the nearby octagonal Liaota pagoda (1071), this temple was also destroyed by foreign troops in 1900. According to historical records, one of Buddha's teeth was supposed to have been stored here (one of the four teeth brought to China from India after his cremation). While clearance work was being carried out following the temple's destruction, a wooden box was discovered containing the tooth. This was taken to the Guanji Si temple for some time until a new home was found for it here in the 1950s in the Buddha-tooth Pagoda (Foya Ta).
Monastery of the Three Mountains
Further to the north, between the Cuiweishan, Lishishan and the Pingboshan mountains, is the little Monastery of the Three Mountains, the origins of which are unknown. There is a fine view from the pavilion in the temple grounds.
Temple of Great Compassion
Next is the Temple of Great Compassion (Dabei Si) dating from 1550. Particularly worth seeing are the eighteen Luohan figures, attributed to the famous sculptor Liu Yuan.
Hall of the Dragon King (Monastery of the Dragon Spring)
Northwest of the Temple of Great Compassion is the Hall of the Dragon King (Longwang Tang) where, according to legend, the ''dragon king'' lived. The building, also called The Monastery of the Dragon Spring (Longuan An) dates from the Qing dynasty (1644-1911).
Temple of the Fragrant World
The next and largest of the eight temples is the Temple of the Fragrant World (Xiangjie Si) originating from the Tang period (618-907) when it was called Pingpo Si. It was modernized in 1678 by Emperor Kangxi, and again in 1748 by Emperor Qianlong. At that time an imperial residence and a library for Buddhist manuscripts were founded here. In the main hall, which is flanked by the bell and drum towers, can be seen statues of Buddhas past, present and future.
Cave of Wonderous Pearl
The monk Haiyou supposedly lived for forty years during the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) in this cave on the peak of Cuiweishan; its name is taken from the pearl-shaped stones at the entrance to the cave.
Temple of the Cult of Buddha
The Temple of the Cult of Buddha (Zhengguo Si), dating from the Tang period (618-907), is situated on the mountain opposite; Lushishan. It was later renovated several times. In the first courtyard is a 2m/6ft high bronze bell from 1470.In the north of the site is the Mimo Yan rock which is shaped like a lion's mouth. Next to this is the Lushi Cave (Lushi Dong), where the monk Lushi is said to have lived during the Tang period (618-907).