Pusa Ding Monastery in Mount Wutai

Why is Pusa Ding Monastery in Mount Wutai so Special?

The Monastery of Pusa-Ding (菩萨顶) sitting at the highest point of Central Terrace at the peak of Lingjiu-feng (灵鹫峰), in north-west of Town Taihuai-zhen (台怀镇). The temple structure is considered the best of all temples in Mount Wutai. It is the largest and most complete Tibetan Monastery in Wutaishan. 

Where is Pusa Ding Monastery?

Address in English:  Wutai Mountain Scenic Area, Wutai County, Xinzhou City, Shanxi province, China
Address in Chinese:山西省忻州市五台县五台山风景区

The Monastery of Pusa-Ding (菩萨顶) sitting at the highest point of Central Terrace at the peak of Lingjiu-feng (灵鹫峰), in north-west of Town Taihuai-zhen (台怀镇).

The Monastery is about 210 km from Taiyuan (太原), the capital of Shanxi province, and about 144 km from Xinzhou (忻州). 

How to get There?

Travel with China Dragon Tours (top recommended)

If you want to get rid of hustle of transportation and troublesome navigation, you can book a private tour package which covers visiting, dining and transfer from us. Our local tour guide and driver will escort you to Pusa Ding Monastery with speed and convenience, and take care of all the details. You just need to focus on travel.

Independent Travel

For Independent travelers you can

It takes about 2 hours and a half for drive from Xinzhou city to Pusa Ding Monastery, and about 3 hours from Taiyuan city to Pusa Ding Monastery.

History and Cultural of Pusa Ding Monastery

The Temple was called The Great Monastery of Manjushri (大文殊院) when it was first established in the Northern Wei Dynasty during the reign of Emperor Xiaowe (孝文帝 671-499 BC). 

The most glorious period of the Monastery was during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) when it was converted into a Lamasery by Emperor Shunzhi (顺治帝) in the year 1656. In order to further increase the faith from Tibetans and Mongolians, Emperor Kangxi (1662-1722) bestowed the title of Provincial Commander-in-Chief to the monastery’s Senior Lama and ordered the whole state of Shanxi to allocate contributions to the temple. The roofing tiles of the Monastery were also changed to royal yellow glazed tiles in the years 1683-1691, like those used for imperial buildings. All Lama temples were then under the control of Pusa-Ding as the Imperial authority had made it the highest leading position of the region. The site has been the accommodation lodge for Qing Emperors, Mongolian warlords and Tibetan Lamas whenever they traveled to Wutaishan for pilgrimage.

The 108 steps were made up of whole piece of stone and they are like layers of stone plastered towards the sky, steep and precipitous. The colorful Gateway on the platform above the top of 108 stone steps was said to be erected by Emperor Kangxi of Qing Dynasty when he visited Wutaishan in year 1714. It was supported by 4 pillars and has three layers on top with three entrances. The four Chinese characters 灵峰仙境 (meaning the fairy site at Lingjiu Peak)inscribed at the central was written by The Emperor. When we stand below the Gateway, the enclosed scenic sights and the magnificent undulating view of the close and distance mountainous region are under our bird eye view.

Nearby Attractions

Useful Travel Tips

  • The best time to visit Pusa-Ding is July as Lamasery serves as the main venue for the annual congregation of the Yellow Hat Sect of Tibetan Buddhism in this month. Commencing from 4th to 15th of 6th lunar month, there are many activities and festive ceremonies that were inherited down from the past. On the 14th day, The Lama wear different masks and costumes, chanting the sutra to suppress the demons with Vajra dances. The festival usually ended in an extravagant carnival celebration and possession on the streets with dances, drum and gong.
  • Before visit a Buddhist temple,  it would be better for you to do some research about Buddhism, and Chinese architecture, so that you can get a better travel experience in Nanchan Temple. What’s more, it’s necessary for you to know some Buddhist taboos and customs before your tour. Our top recommended is travel with a local tourist.