In West Lake Scenic area in the southwest of Hangzhou, Feilai Feng,
the Hill Flown From Afar, is notable because its limestone geology
is different to that of its surroundings. With many caves the
limestone has provided a suitable material for carving out enduring
images of Buddhas.
Peak Flown From Afar is adjacent to Lingyin Temple and stands 209
meters tall. An interesting legend goes that, in the Eastern Jin
Dynasty, the Indian monk Huili visited this limestone hill and
noticed it looked exactly like one in his own country. Huili
insisted that the peak had flown over from India and settled in
On the hillside and inside the caves are more than 500 Buddhas
carved during the Five Dynasties (907-960), the Song Dynasty
(960-1279) and the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368). The stone figures
appear in a variety of poses: standing, squatting, sitting and
sleeping. They are part of China’s National Cultural Heritage and
are protected by the government.