Feilai Peak

Feilai Peak (Peak flown from afar) is located beside Lingyin Temple is north-west Hangzhou. Its unusual name is said to have been given in 326 by Hui Li, an Indian Buddhist monk who also founded Lingyin. He was surprised to see such an unusual peak in China and so said it must have flown from his native India, where there are many.

The hill stands out so much because at 209 meters high, it is smaller than those around it and is made of limestone, while the others and all made of sandstone. On its peak there are strange shaped stones that seem to resemble a flying dragon, walking elephant, running monkey and a crouching tiger.

The hill is famous for its statues. There are about 350 ranging from the Five Dynasties period (907 - 960) to the Song (960 - 1234) and Yuan (1206 - 1370) Dynasties in caves created by water erosion. Most famous by far is the statue of the laughing, fat and bare bellied Buddha Maitreya carved in the Song Dynasty. Beside him is King Da Li Ming with three heads and eight arms carved in the Yuan Dynasty. One cave - Shexu Cave has a hole in the roof that sometimes allows in a beam of light called "the gleam of the sky".

Also on the peak is a Pavilion named Cui Wei, built in dedication to the national hero Yue Fei. The "China Grotto Art Garden" attracts people who want to study the peak's grottos and ancient rock carvings. Feilai Feng is regarded by many as the best peak around Hangzhou.