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Fei  Lai   Peak

Fei Lai Feng (also named Ling Jiu Feng), stands next to Ling Yin Temple and is a must-see in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. There are many legends about the peak's name. A well-known legend states that an Indian monk named Huili arrived in the valley 1,600 years ago and was surprised to see a peak so dissimilar from any other one in the valley. He believed that the peak had flown over from India because the shape, although unique in China, was common in India. However, he did not know why the peak would have flown to this spot so far from his country. Hence the peak's name was created and has passed down to the present day.

Fei Lai Feng, 209 meters (about 700 feet) tall, is a pure limestone mountain that is very distinctive from the sandstone mountains around it. Large stones scattered along the peak are said to resemble animals like a flying dragon, a running elephant, a crouching tiger, and a fleeing monkey. On the other side of the peak, a pavilion named Cui Wei was erected to immortalize the national hero Yue Fei. This man contributed greatly in the war against Jin Tribe during the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279).The pavilion was destroyed many times before the large restoration of 1942. The current pavilion keeps its old face with fresh paint.

The caves of this mountain shelter about 330 stone statues dating from the 10th to the 14th centuries. The statues appear in a variety of poses ranging from standing, to sitting, to sleeping. A favorite may be the Laughing Buddha, sitting on the cliff along the stream with exposed breast and belly. If you wonder why he has such a big belly, the answer is that his belly is where the Buddha keeps all of the world's troubles. The question always comes out "why are there so many Buddha statues in the cave?" Local legend has it that the peak had destroyed many villages before it settled down in Hangzhou. In order to prevent the peak from causing even more damage, over 500 Buddha statues were caved out of the peak to suppress it. Consequently, the water-eroded caves in the peak are regarded as the very birthplace of many local legends.

In 1993, a new site by the name of "China Grotto Art Garden" was set up around the Fei Lai beauty spot. Thousands of professionals and aficionados in the fields of engraving and grotto research flock to this place to study the unparalleled Chinese classical rock carvings. Among all the mountains around West Lake, Fei Lai Feng is the one most likely to simulate the imagination and make one reluctant to leave. Some even say that one experience at Fei Lai Feng will leave you with memories that will last the rest of your life.

The legend of Feilai Feng

'How can a hill fly?'That was also the question asked by the local people when the Indian monk Huili, who founded the temple, claim over 1670 years ago that the hill in front of the temple had flown from India. 'Can it be from India, flying?' They kept asking. The monk replied:'There're two apes, one black and one white, meditating on the hill in my hometown. If I find these two apes, they can prove that the hill came after me flying from India and landed here.' At this, he went to one of the caves and called the names of the two ape. Soon, the two apes, one black and one white, appeared from inside the cave. Seeing is believing, the local people had to believe that the hill had flown from India, hence the name.

But according to a local monk, the hill had flown from inside China, Sichuan Province to be exact.
The local monk had been known as the Crazy Monk, for he had been drinking wine-rice wine, eating meat-especially dog meat, which were against Buddhist rules, and had never taken a shower or a bath. You can imagine what kind of a smell he had. But crazy as he was, he had extraordinary powers. For example, he could cure all kinds of disease-flu, TB, cancer, anthrax etc. The only medicine he used was produced on his body. Rubbing with a finger on his body, he could get a pill. The patient took the pill and the disease was cured. Now you can understand why he never took a shower or bath.

What's more, he could foretell things. One day, after drinking some wine, he suddenly realized that a hill was flying from Emei Mountain and would land in front of the temple, burying the whole small village. He was really startled and became sober. He ran into the village, telling every family one after another that a hill was coming flying and told them to escape as soon as possible.

The villagers thought he was just being crazy again and nobody believed him. Time passed by and the hill was coming very soon. But he didn't know what to do to make people believe. Just then, he heard some drum beating, music playing and fire cracks setting off. It was a wedding!

Now the Crazy Monk had an idea. Stealthily he went to the wedding and all of a sudden grabbed the bride and carried her on the back and started running out of the village. The villagers didn't realize what was happening until someone shouted:'The Crazy Monk has taken the bride!' Hearing this, all the villages chased him.

The Crazy Monk ran fast, though the bride was not light at all. After a while, when he knew it was safe, he stopped. The villagers swarmed up and besiege him. They were all so angry and were ready to give him a good beating.

But the Crazy Monk said:'Wait! Wait! Wait! Just look back!' The villagers all looked back and they saw a huge hill coming flying on a piece of dark cloud landing above their village.

Not until then did the villagers realize that the Crazy Monk was not really interested in the bride, but rather, he was trying to rescue them, Just when they were ready to express their gratitude, a little boy cried:'But my grandma is too old to run, she's still in the village.' Hearing this, the Crazy Monk dashed into the village, quickly found the old lady, carried her on the back and started running out. He ran really fast, but the hill was even faster. The villagers saw with their own eyes that the Crazy Monk and the old lady were buried underneath the hill.

The villagers were dumped into deep sorrow. They had lost not only their houses and their furniture, but also the loving Crazy Monk and the lady.

Soon after the dust vanished, to their great surprise and joy, they saw the Crazy Monk coming out from the cave, with the old lady on his back. The crowd cheered and cheered. Everybody was happy now beacause nobody was hurt during this disaster. Now they had time to say all those nice words to the Crazy Monk to show their gratefulness. But the Crazy Monk said:'Now that the hill has flown from the Emei Mountain and landed here, maybe it will take off again one day. What if it landed at a place where there were not a person like me to rescue the local people?'

The villagers all nodded. 'Right! What shall we do?' they asked. The Crazy Monk said:'Why don't we keep the hill here with the power of Buddha?' All the villagers thought that a good idea. So they started working on the hill and carved altogether 338 Buddha images.

Admission Fee: CNY 35
Bus Route: 7, 807, Tourist Bus No. 1, 2 and 4 (get off at Lingyin bus stop)

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