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Religions in China: Taoism and Buddhism


Taoism is an indigenous religion of China and is traditionally traced back to Lao Zi's Tao Te Ching (The Book of Tao and Its Virtues).

The philosophy of Taoism is centered on "the way"; an understanding of which can be likened to recognizing the true nature of the universe.

More secular derivatives of Taoist ideas include Feng Shui, Sun Tzu's Art of War, and acupuncture.


Buddhism was introduced from South and Central Asia during the Han dynasty and became very popular among Chinese of all walks of life.

Mahayana is the predominant form of Buddhism practiced in China.

Some subsets of Mahayana popular in China include Pure Land (Amidism) and Zen.

Buddhism is the largest organized faith in China and the country has the most Buddhist adherents in the world, followed by Japan.

Many Chinese, however, identify themselves as both Taoist and Buddhist at the same time.


There are many historic Buddhist and Taoist places in China, but here are two of the highlights:


The Leshan Giant Buddha



The Leshan Giant Buddha is a statue of Maitreya.

The Buddha is located to the east of Leshan City, Sichuan Province,

at the confluence of three rivers, namely, Min River, Qingyi River, and Dadu River.
It can be easily reached in a daytrip from Chengdu.
In December, 1996, the location of the Buddha was included by UNESCO on the list of the World Heritage sites.

The statue took people more than 90 years, from the year 713 in the Tang Dynasty till 803, to carve.

During these years, thousands of workers had expended their efforts and wisdom on the project.

As the biggest carved stone Buddha in the world, Leshan Giant Buddha is featured in poetry, song and story.
The statue is 71m high, and has three-meter-long fingers and seven meters long pair of ears.


To the Leshan Giant Buddha pictures and index

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Mount Qingcheng: Tao holy land



Mt. Qingcheng is one of the most famous Taoist mountains in China.
It can be reached by in a few hours from Chengdu.
It is a very attractive scenic spot that is covered by luxuriant and verdant trees.
The mountain, which is surrounded by numerous peaks and is shaped like a city,

is dubbed 'the most peaceful and secluded mountain under heaven' and combines perfectly with its evergreen scenery.
Mt. Qingcheng has the perfect combination of the unique landform, natural beauty, cultural relics and historic sites of Taoism.


To the Mt.Qingcheng pictures and index


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